With subtle and convincing naturalism, sunlight pours into a deep valley, playing expressively across the surfaces of rock and cascading down a green hillside to illuminate a bend in the river far below. At the left, a steep rock face bathed in fresh light rises with imposing grandeur, dwarfing a group of travelers who make their way along a narrow mountain road below. Beyond, perched high on the cliff, a cluster of buildings survey the unfolding mountainous landscape as it dissolves into an atmospheric haze in the distance.
Rémond gained wide renown for his Italian landscapes, particularly his oil studies, favored for their evocative passages of light and fluid handling. Here, he infuses his soft palette of muted browns and grays with lively touches of raw sienna, ochre, and cinnamon, imbuing the scene with a luminous harmony. Early on Rémond studied with Jean-Victor Bertin and won the prestigious Prix de Rome for landscape painting in 1821. While at the French Academy in Rome he travelled extensively throughout the city and its environs, including Sicily and Naples, producing oil sketches and drawings. He received the coveted Legion of Honor in 1834.