A student and friend of Corot, Louis Français was a very successful landscape artist. He often stayed in Bougival and preceded Monet and Renoir in depicting the banks of the Seine and the hillside around Bougival.
The paintings he exhibited at the Exhibition were accompanied by comments with details and references. Worth mentioning, for example, is “November, Landscape” about which the Artist’s critic at the 1944 Exhibition said these few words: “Mr Corot and Mr Français always understand nature like true poets…” This painting, kept at the Museum of Plombières-les-Bains, the artist’s home town where a number of his works have been gathered together, today bears the title “View taken “near Paris”. It is a large landscape featuring a couple reading in the shade of some large chestnut trees in the foreground and, in the distance, the loop in the Seine at Bougival (the church bell tower is recognisable), the Marly Machine, Louveciennes aqueduct and the château of Saint-Germain en Laye are depicted.
“The Seine at Bougival” in the De Tessé Museum – Le Mans, “Evening beside the Seine”, Plombières les Bains Museum and “The Seine at Bougival” Salon des Arcades – Paris Town Hall, reveal the poetry of summer evenings when the light of the setting sun creates colourful reflections on the water and in the sky.