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A Volcano in Auvergne

Aurore Dudevant (George Sand) (French, 1804 - 1876)1874

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum

O nature, you are indeed my mother, you move my soul. So declared artist Aurore Dudevant, known as George Sand, a key figure of French Romanticism and a prolific author of bucolic fictions. A testimony to landscape's vitality as a genre in the late 1800s, this sensitive plein air (outdoor) study of an extinct volcano in Auvergne--in the heart of France--illustrates how Sand celebrated virgin areas of the country's scenery for their authentic character and beauty. Here the greens and browns of the crater subtly contrast with the blues and pinks of the background, where mountains are visible in the distance. George Sand visited Auvergne on several occasions, transcribing her impressions; she could not help but compare the region with the Pyrénées, the mountain range close to her home: "The Auvergne seemed to be an adorable land. Less vast and less sublime than the Pyrénées, but with the same freshness."

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