Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.

Rodolphe-Théophile Bosshard

Peupliers (Venoge), s.d. (ca 1928)
oil on canvas
50.0 x 60.5 cm
Solemnly erect, the trees, soaring in the verticality of the canvas, look more like sculptural forms than trees sprouting living foliage. Worked in a type of paint that easily clots and forms thick impastoed traces, the trees seem to be carved directly in the rock. Rodolphe-Théophile Bosshard chose in this instance a palette with a limited range of hues, which helps to distance this landscape from any semblance of realism. That is, the ground, sky and vegetation are treated in the same tones, without the least concern for detail and without any logic to the lighting.

The repetitive placement of the poplars at the back of the landscape gives the composition its rhythm. As is often the case with the painter’s output, that composition is unified by the fusing of shapes and colours. And as in all of his work, Bosshard wasn’t looking to depict reality faithfully. His aesthetic preoccupations lie elsewhere.

Pierre Descargues explained it this way in the Bosshard show held at Lausanne’s Fondation de l’Hermitage in 1986: “Rare is the work of contemporary painters in which one senses that the dialogue between the subject and its painter, the object and the desire fashioning it, is so sharply established. And yet it is that link – since there is no longer any theme in which a broad public can commune – that remains the only centre of interest in a body of work. Bosshard never bothered in his painting with telling any story other than his own.”
Rodolphe-Théophile Bosshard, Peupliers (Venoge), s.d. (ca 1928)