Monchablon was born in 1855 in the village of Châtillon-sur-Sâone in northeastern France. Married to Fanny Elisa Julien, a talented pianist, Monchablon studied at the École des Beaux-Arts under the academic master Jean Paul Laurens and then with another academically trained teacher Alexandre Cabanel from 1883-4. He exhibited frequently at the Salon in Paris beginning in 1881 and received several medals over the course of his lifetime both at the Salon and at the Exposition Universelle. Although primarily remembered for the landscapes that he painted around his native village, Monchablon was also known to have conceived portraits, one of Bishop Turinaz which was successfully received at the Salon in 1896.
In the painting Soleil à Rosée sur la Vallon de l'Apanée pres Châtillon (Unsles) Jean Ferdinand Monchablon displays his singular interest in landscape painting. The locale is close to his birthplace in the Vosges region of northeastern France in the village of Châtillon-sur-Sâone, a region that historically has been a crossroads of conflict between France and Germany. Monchablon chose to live and to paint his native home rather than to embark on painting sojourns as did such other painters of the 1870's and 1880's as Corot or Daubigny. Instead Monchablon chose to portray the landscape native to his childhood. In this example he combines a realism that approaches a photographic accuracy with a soft light-filled canvas that belies the influence of Impressionism on the artist. The resulting image is immediate, real, arresting and "full of clarity". The viewer further experiences a certain tangible quality to the portrayal of this crisp and pristine sweeping landscape with its luminous sky and surrounding rich fields.
An Important Private Collection, Maine
By descent within the family