‘The Port of La Rochelle’, Oil on Board, signed Dubois, France c.1950
This charming painting has been professionally cleaned and framed. I've identified the subject as the Port of La Rochelle and found a reference to a similar maritime scene of Venice by Dubois (dated 1936, sold Paris by Millon auction house 2015) .
The signature on that earlier work is lowercase and in this work is uppercase. It is certainly not unheard of for an artist to make changes to their signature over time but they rarely completely change the style of their painting and the early work matches the older perfectly in technique, colour pallette, style and subject matter.
We therefore conclude that Dubois is a relatively unknown French artist who nonetheless was talented and practiced from the early to mid 20th century. Excellent use of colour in the difficult medium of oil, along with relaxed and confident technique indicate genuine skill and training.
Another clue to the serious intent of the artist is the location. La Rochelle was a popular destination for impressionist painters. There are many examples of well known artists' work of this same scene, dating from the 1920s to the 1950s and this painting compares very favourably with them.
The companion painting to this scene, available in another listing, is of a cathedral town. We are not one hundred percent sure of the location but if not Moret-Sur-Loing whose bridge and basilica were a popular subject, it is just possibly an image of Worcester Cathedral - the ony other cathedral we could find that would correctly orientate the buildings, river and a five-arched stone bridge with the painter's vantage point.
Overall, an excellent painting by a lesser-known French artist, professionally cleaned and in a contemporary frame but oozing a breezy, carefree atmosphere of postwar optimism.
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