Antoine Chintreuil was born in Pont-de-Vaux, Ain on May 15, 1816. He grew up in Bress and in 1838, at the age of 22, moved to Paris to begin his career as an artist. Once in Paris, Chintreuil found employment coloring scientific prints, but his skills did not live up to the standards of his employer and he took a job in a bookshop. While here, the young man met the well-known writer, Champfleury, who introduced him to several artist friends, with whom he traveled the French countryside.
In 1842, Antoine joined the studio of Paul Delaroche and later met the famed Corot, who became Chintreuil's true mentor in the field of landscape painting. Following Corot's advice, Chintreuil began to paint en plein air. Unfortunately the young man did not find fame and recognition for his work until his later life, and lived much of his life in poverty. Chintreuil's luck changed when he met the poet Beranger, who purchased several paintings and besieged his friends to do the same.
At some point in his life, Chintreuil left Paris to paint in Igny along the river Bievre. After a serious illness, the artist left this area and moved to La Tournelle Septevil near Mantes, where he lived out the remainder of his life.
Chintreuil's paintings appeared regularly in the Salon, and several of his works were acquired by the state in 1864, 1868 and 1869. He was invited to Compiegne in 1869 and was elected a member of the Salon jury for 1870.
Path along the River is a large-scale canvas by Chintreuil, who tended to work small, as did many of the Barbizon artists. Possibly painted along the river Bievre on Igny, this is poetic and true example of landscape painting at its purest. Chintreuil neither glorifies or exaggerates nature before him but paints an honest depiction of a scene that feels familiar to anyone. What is alluring about the work is that is borders on a brooding and mysterious landscape that hints at something stronger and yet it leaves that to our imagination.
Hammer Galleries, New york
Private Collection, Newtown, Connecticut