View of Cluses, Savoy, France

View of Cluses, Savoy, France


Vevey, Switzerland 1733-1790 Vevey, Switzerland

View of Cluses, Savoy, France

Inscribed on reverse of original washline mount: View of Cluse, a small Town in Savoy on the road/to Italy.
Pen and grey ink and watercolour heightened with touches of bodycolour on laid paper
169 x 223 mm., 6 ½ x 8 ¾ in.

Sir William Forbes, 6th Bart of Pitsligo (1739-1806);
Anonymous sale, Sotheby's, 15
th July 1999, lot 72

Born in Switzerland, Brandoin was sent to Amsterdam in 1748 to work as an apprentice in his uncle's textile firm. In 1762, his uncle died and he moved to London, living in Church Street, Chelsea, until he returned to Switzerland in 1772. In London, he took lessons from Paul Sandby and devoted himself to painting in watercolour. He took on pupils and worked on commissions for both English and Swiss patrons, as well as exhibiting at the Royal Academy and elsewhere.

On his return to Vevey, he was busy with commissions both public - designs for fountains, church organs, pulpits and mausoleums - and private. The present watercolour was one of a group belonging to Sir William Forbes and sold at Sotheby's in 1999. Forbes had undertaken his Grand Tour in 1792 and 1793 and presumably bought the group from the artist when passing through Switzerland.

Cluses is in the Arve Valley, about 25 miles south of Geneva on the road to Chamonix.