A View of Moulins, Henri-Joseph Harpignies
In the Metropolitan Museum of Art; use the download or zoom icons under the image on their site.
At once straightforward and poetic, this view of a town in central France by the Barbizon painter is a beautiful example of the evocative power of watercolor. Harpignies combines solid draftsmanship, precise edges and loose, gestural applications of color in perfect balance.
His composition is likewise a subtle balance of horizontal and vertical elements, connected by the thread of the irregular forms of the foliage and clouds.
I particularly love the briefly noted figures at the edge of the water — how simple and yet perfect they are.