Dominique-Paul Peyronnet The Ferryman of the Moselle c. 1934

  • Not on view

Peyronnet began painting after retiring from a career as a professional printer. This work depicts a tale from the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–71: when a French ferryman was ordered to transport German soldiers across the Moselle River, he cut the cable connecting the boat to the dock, choosing to drown with the enemy rather than betray France. The artist’s meticulous attention to detail—notice the carefully stippled stars and the minute brushstrokes he used to delineate each blade of grass and rippled wave—produces a paradoxical, almost surreal sense of calm amidst the drama.

Gallery label from 2022
Oil on canvas
35 x 45 5/8" (88.9 x 115.9 cm)
Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Fund
Object number
Painting and Sculpture

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