Spaightwood Galleries

120 Main Street, Upton MA 01568-6193; 800-809-3343

Updated 12-12-09
Home / Gallery Tour 1 / Old Master Drawings and Prints / Gallery Tour 2 / Artists
Gallery News

Adolphe Appian (French, 1818-1898): The Romantic (and Pre-Romantic) Landscape

19th-Century Drawings
19th-Century Landscape Drawings I / 19th-Century Landscape Drawings II / 19th-Century Genre: Places
19th-Century Portraits / 19th-Century Genre: People

Felix O. C. Darley / Lothar Meggendorfer / Adrian Ludwig Richter
"Sometimes I could cope with the sullen despair that overwhelmed me, but sometimes the whirlwind passions of my soul drove me to seek, by bodily exercise and by change of place, some relief from my intolerable sensations. It was during an access of this kind that I suddenly left my home, and bending my steps towards the near Alpine valleys, sought in the magnificence, the eternity of such scenes, to forget myself and my ephemeral, because human, sorrows. My wanderings were directed towards the valley of Chamounix. I had visited it frequently during my boyhood. Six years had passed since then: I was a wreck, but nought had changed in those savage and enduring scenes.

"I performed the first part of my journey on horseback. I afterwards hired a mule, as the more sure-footed and least liable to receive injury on these rugged roads. The weather was fine; it was about the middle of the month of August, nearly two months after the death of Justine, that miserable epoch from which I dated all my woe. The weight upon my spirit was sensibly lightened as I plunged yet deeper in the ravine of Arve. The immense mountains and precipices that overhung me on every side, the sound of the river raging among the rocks, and the dashing of the waterfalls around spoke of a power mighty as Omnipotence—and I ceased to fear or to bend before any being less almighty than that which had created and ruled the elements, here displayed in their most terrific guise. Still, as I ascended higher, the valley assumed a more magnificent and astonishing character. Ruined castles hanging on the precipices of piny mountains, the impetuous Arve, and cottages every here and there peeping forth from among the trees formed a scene of singular beauty. But it was augmented and rendered sublime by the mighty Alps, whose white and shining pyramids and domes towered above all, as belonging to another earth, the habitations of another race of beings." (Mary Shelley, Frankenstein [1818])
Adolphe Appian was both the student and friend of Corot and Daubigny. One of the masters of 19th-century landscape etching, his works show the influence of Japanese art and have been included in shows on "Japonisme" at museums such as the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
In addition to Appian, our selections of landscapes by artists working in the 19th century includes prints by the the Impressionists and Post-Impressionists. We also have a number of drawings and gouaches by artists including the ever popular anonymous, hard at work in a number of different genres and with results varying from work to work. Someare no more than a travel record, others quick sketches from life, others still, ways of thinking about possible ways to lay out a composition, yet still others finished works of art serving not only as a model for another work but as independent, polished pieces capable of standing on their own. Some of these artists are anonymous because they never had any desire to be thought of as artists; others because they feared that the little they knew about how to draw could serve to help them remember something they wanted to remember but feared that publicly releasing them might bring them unflattering public attention. Others are by professional artists, sometimes continuing a long-time family trade, sometimes immensely successful, sometimes barely known. We have identified works by Hans (Johann) Beckmann, Theophile Chauvel, Heloise Suzanne Colin, Felix O. C. Darley, the Count D'Orsay, E. F. Gehme, Emil Kinkelin, Johann Mader, Mauer, Lothar Meggendorfer, Adrian Ludwig Richter, Marianne von Rohden, Otto Steiner, and Adalbert Wolfe.
Pres de Rix / Near Rix (Curtis & Prouté 16). Original etching, 1862. Edition unknown. Published in the deluxe edition (c. 500 impressions) of Philip Hamerton's Etchers and Etching, 1868. Later editions did not contain this etching. A print catalogue from Emmet Steele (5/96) calls this work "very rare." Signed in the plate. Image size: 87x174mm. Price: $625.
Marais de la Burbanche (Ain) / Swamp of the Burbanche. Original etching, 1863. Published by Cadart, 1868. Signed in the plate. One of Appian's most beautiful images. Image size:116x200mm. Price: $675.
Le champ de Blé / The field at Blé. Original etching, 1863. Published in the Gazette des Beaux Arts, 1863. Signed in the plate. Image size: 99x188mm. Price: $675.

Spaightwood Galleries, Inc.

To purchase, call us at 1-800-809-3343 (508-529-2511 in Upton MA & vicinity) or send an email to We accept AmericanExpress, DiscoverCard, MasterCard, Visa, and PayPal.

For directions and visiting information, please call. We are, of course, always available over the web and by telephone (see above for contact information). Click the following for links to past shows and artists. For a visual tour of the gallery, please click here. For information about Andy Weiner and Sonja Hansard-Weiner, please click here. For a list of special offers currently available, see Specials.

Visiting hours: Noon to six Saturdays and Sundays; other times by arrangement.
Please call to confirm your visit. Browsers and guests are welcome.