Constant Troyon France
8-28-1810 Sevres, FRA – 2-21-1865 Paris, FRABack to Artist IndexView Artists Paintings
Constant Troyon entered the ateliers very young as a decorator, and until he was twenty he labored assiduously at the minute details of porcelain ornamentation; and this kind of work he mastered so thoroughly that it was many years before he overcame its limitations. By the time he reached twenty-one Constant Troyon was traveling the country as an artist, and painting landscapes so long as his finances lasted. Then when pressed for money he made friends with the first china manufacturer he met and worked steadily at his old business of decorator until he had accumulated enough funds to permit him to start again on his wanderings.
Troyon was a favorite with Camille Roqueplan, an artist of distinction eight years his senior, and he became one of his pupils after receiving certain tuition from a painter, named Alfred Riocreux. Roqueplan introduced Troyon to Rousseau, Jules Dupré, and the other Barbizon painters, and in his pictures between 1840 and 1847 he seemed to endeavor to follow in their footsteps. But as a landscapist Troyon would never have been recognized as a thorough master, although his work of the period is marked with much sincerity and met with a certain success.
In 1846 Constant Troyon went to the Netherlands, and at the Hague saw Paulus Potter's famous "Young Bull". From the studies he made of this picture, of Cuyp's sunny landscapes, and Rembrandt's noble masterpieces he soon evolved a new method of painting, and it is only in works produced after this time that Troyon's true individuality is revealed.
Success, however, came too late, for Constant Troyon never quite believed in it himself, and even when he could command the market of several countries he still grumbled loudly at the way the world treated him. Yet he was decorated with the Legion of Honor, and five times received medals at the Paris Salon, while Napoleon III was one of his patrons; and it is certain he was at least as financially successful as his Barbizon colleagues.
All his famous pictures are of date between 1850 and 1864, his earlier work being of comparatively little value. His mother, who survived him, instituted the Troyon prize for animal pictures at the École des Beaux Arts. Constant Troyon's work is fairly well known to the public through a number of large engravings from his pictures. In the Wallace Gallery in London are "Watering Cattle" and "Cattle in Stormy Weather"; the Louvre contains his famous "Oxen at Work" and "Returning to the Farm"; while the Metropolitan Museum of Art and other galleries in America contain fine examples of his pictures.
Art Movement: Barbizon School
Influences: Denis Désiré Riocreux, Camille Roqueplan, Paulus Potter
Influenced: Claude Monet, Émile van Marcke, Martin Léonce Chabry, Eugene Boudin, Leon Belly