Emile Adélard Breton (1831 - 1902), 1870
oil on canvas,
56 cm x 86.5 cm
The Mesdag Collection, The Hague
Emile Breton painted many winter scenes. He most likely made this landscape in Courrières in Northern France, where he lived his entire life. He depicted a flock of crows converging from all directions on a dung cart. The birds descend like a whirlwind, introducing movement into the otherwise tranquil, snow-covered expanse.
Mesdag was fascinated by Breton’s work, which he knew from exhibitions in Paris. As a beginning artist, he himself made a few winter landscapes. Mesdag purchased two paintings by Breton and hung The Crows in his house at the Laan van Meerdervoort in The Hague.