A pupil in the studio of Achille Leclerc and then at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, he makes his first journey to Italy between 1820 and 1822. There he mostly produces architectural drawings. He goes back there between 1826 and 1828 after having been initiated into landscaping by WATELET. Jules COIGNET also provides him with a few advises. He sends his first pieces to the Salon in 1827 and regularly displays his work there until 1841.

This view of the surroundings of Florence, that can be dated to his second journey in Italy, is to be related with the work of his contemporary and friend COROT from whose vision he is clearly influenced, especially in its synthetic approach. As it is often the case for the unsigned works of this period, this painting has long been attributed to COROT, an artist who is decidedly inescapable and to whom are attributed many of the anonymous pieces of this period, be it out of casualness or ignorance.

Italian subjects are rare. Like most of the paintings and drawings sheltered by the museum of Angers (bequeathed to the museum by his inheritors in 1933), this painting is essential for the enrichment of our knowledge of this discreet artist who will nearly definitively cease painting after 1841.

Prosper BARBOT « View taken in the surroundings of Florence » – Oil on paper laid on canvas – 25 cm x 37 cm – Painted circa 1827
at the back, an ancient and hardly readable ink writing reading « surroundings of Florence »

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