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Rodolphe-Théophile Bosshard

Paysage au viaduc, s.d.
oil on canvas
50.0 x 65.0 cm
Vast fields stretch towards a few constructions, which gradually give way to several stands of trees. These pictorial elements and their indistinct outlines melt into the texture of the sky. The shapes overlap, were swept over by a brush that regularly left areas of impasto in its wake.

Rodolphe-Théophile Bosshard offers us here a poetic suggestion of a landscape, where the same muted effects are employed to describe clouds, foliage and dwellings. Their colours mix in brushwork that imparts a misty aspect to the scene. The composition is deconstructed in a cubist manner and avoids mathematical perspective, even if its lines of force lend a certain rhythm and structure to the whole.

In Bosshard’s work, the viaduct motif appears several times, combined with his two favourite themes, the landscape and the nude. As Pierre Descargues analyses it, “When the viaducts appear, it is only to reassure viewers, thrown off by the vast landscapes which they have no place in”.

The harmony of the blues, greens and ochres is heightened by the flashes of light falling on the landscape’s background, reinforcing the contrasts and the dreamlike dimension of the work. Bosshard translates an inner vision here: “…it’s the heart that’s in charge. People are surprised by how much it looks like nature when the dance of the hand is directed by the pulses of the heart. Man has created a new living object from his own laws and those laws are nearer to life, nearer to the soul, nearer to truth. You don’t need to be a handwriting expert to read that writing. We know it’s dictated, and faith in the true gesture is a faith in the true, nothing more or less.”
Rodolphe-Théophile Bosshard, Paysage au viaduc, s.d.