Félix ZIEM (1821-1911) Roquefavour Aqueduct...

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Félix ZIEM (1821-1911) Roquefavour Aqueduct...

Félix ZIEM (1821-1911) Roquefavour Aqueduct Oil on canvas signed below right 55 x 80cm The Roquefavour aqueduct, near Aix-en-Provence is built from 1837 and in charge of bringing the waters of the Durance to the city of Marseille, which was then suffering from frequent water shortages. The chief engineer is Frantz Mayor of Montricher. Ziem was commissioned by the latter to draw drawings of the site and the new aqueduct. These drawings are presented by the engineer to His Royal Highness the Duke of Orléans, son of King Louis-Philippe. Very satisfied with the drawings, the heir to the crown immediately sent the painter a watch in gratitude. Ziem therefore obtained several orders from the Royal Highness. This precious recommendation allowed him to obtain orders from Marseille amateurs (Charles-Roux, Racine, Paranque) and decided to set up his workshop in town at number 1, quai du canal. The initial recipient of our painting, executed around 1840, is unknown, but the composition is undoubtedly derived from the drawings sent to the Duke of Orleans. The young Ziem, who was only in his early twenties, gave a masterly representation of the work, giving it the nobility of an ancient architecture. The latter had been designed by the engineer according to the same three-level structure as the Pont du Gard, not far from Roquefavour.
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