This intriguing oil on board painting depicts a stagecoach arriving at an auberge (inn) on the outskirts of a French town. The painting is from the 1800’s and features amazingly vivid colors. It is attributed to the French painter, Maurice Blum (1832-1909), as indicated by a stamp on the back from an old London art gallery.
A light blue sky dominates the background, above some far off visible hills. An unpaved road emerges from the distant landscape, leading up to the inn. The stagecoach driver with gold trousers and a teal overcoat is standing in the carriage with a glass container in his hand. A monkey sits on the carriage as well, with most onlookers paying more attention to the animal than the man’s vial. Many of the citizens appear to be wealthy, dressed in the finest attire with vibrant colors. Three women are dressed in ankle-length dresses with wraps around their shoulders. Eight men wearing trousers and hose also surround the coach. All the men are wearing overcoats of various colors with black tricorne hats.
Further up the road is a man dressed all in black with a bicorne hat. He is holding a golden walking cane behind his back as he uses a lorgnette (spectacles held up to the viewer’s face by a handle) to observe the commotion. Two more gentlemen sit at an outdoor table observing the scene. Three members of the inn staff have gathered outside, also taking in the sight. Above their heads is an ornate potence, comprised of scrolls, a cornucopia, and a mythical creature surrounding the establishment’s sign. Behind the gray multi-storied inn is a large cream house with brown roofing and an even larger green house with a black roof.
The painting is surrounded by a giltwood frame adorned with several borders of repeated carvings, including cabochons and lunettes. In each of the corners is a scalloped shell surrounded by curled leaves. Floral margents emanate in both directions from the shells. The French oil on board painting displays vibrant details and is full of life. It will make an interesting conversation piece in any room of the house.
CONDITION: Good antique condition with minor age separations, losses, and nicks to frame. Light buildup to painting, which has been professionally restored. Wired in the back for hanging purposes with a tag from Bond Street Galleries in London, attributing the painting to Maurice Blum. Tiny dent in paint near monkey.