December Morning -
 View from Chardonne overlooking Lake Geneva
, 1987
Oil on panel, 16 x 39.5 cm
Musée des Beaux-Arts, Rouen
"truly beautiful landscape painting"
- Anzeiger von Saanen, Gstaad
STANLEY ROSEMAN
Landscapes comprise a major part of Stanley Roseman's oeuvre. The artist's landscapes, painted and drawn in the open air throughout the changing seasons, express a deep feeling for nature and complement his ''profound interest in the human condition in portraying different kinds of people, professions, social or artistic groups'' (Bibliothèque Nationale de France).[1]
     On an early morning in December, 1987, with the distant Alpine peaks silhouetted against the golden light of dawn and a blue-gray mist ascending the hillside where Roseman stood at his easel, he painted December Morning - View from Chardonne Overlooking Lake Geneva (Matin de Décembre, vue de Chardonne sur le Lac Léman), (reproduced above). The breathtaking view from the village of Chardonne, on Mont-Pèlerin, takes in a panorama of the eastern end of the great lake with its lakeshore towns of Vevey, La Tour-de-Peilz, Clarens, and Montreux; the awesome peaks of the Dents du Midi; and a range of the Savoy Alps.
     A month after Roseman painted December Morning, the Chief Curator of the Museums of France, François Bergot, who praised the work as ''a very beautiful landscape,'' acquired the painting for the Musée des Beaux-Arts, Rouen, of which he was the Director. He had previously acquired the artist's work on the monastic life for the Rouen Museum, ''whose collections of paintings and drawings are among the most complete and most renowned in France,'' states the catalogue French Master Drawings from the Rouen Museum, 1981, by François Bergot and Pierre Rosenberg.[2] The acquisitions of Roseman's paintings and drawings for Rouen include the portrait Dom Henry, 1978, from the first year of Roseman's work on the monastic life. Acquiring the portrait painting of the Benedictine monk, the Chief Curator of the Museums of France expressed "my admiration for this work imbued with insight and spirituality.'' (See Biography, Page 6, "The Monastic Life," fig. 3.)
 2. Spring Evening -
 View of Mont-Pèlerin and Lake Geneva
, 1988
Oil on panel, 17 x 45 cm
Musée des Beaux-Arts, Rouen
 3. August Afternoon - A Pasture
on the Edge of an Alpine Wood
, 1991
Oil on panel, 38 x 28 cm
Private collection, Geneva
4. Marie-Claude Pietragalla
1994, Paris Opéra Ballet
The Rite of Spring
Pencil on paper,  37.5 x 27.5 cm
Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris
© Stanley Roseman and Ronald Davis - All Rights Reserved
Visual imagery and website content may not be reproduced in any form whatsoever.
     In the nineteenth century, the English painter J. M. W. Turner made several excursions to Switzerland, as did the French artist Camille Corot. Both painters created a number of beautiful landscapes in the region of Lake Geneva. Gustave Courbet, who had been a member of the Paris Commune, took refuge in 1873 in the lakeshore town of La Tour-de-Peilz, where he rented a fisherman's house that had been a former tavern called Bon-Port. Courbet also gained inspiration for his work along the Lake in the beautiful region of Lavaux, in Canton Vaud.
     Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky took up residence in 1877 in Clarens, between La Tour-de-Peilz and Montreux. Tchaikovsky continued work on his opera Eugene Onegin and the following year, composed his celebrated Violin Concerto in D Major. In the first quarter of the twentieth century, Igor Stravinsky followed his esteemed compatriot to Clarens. There Stravinsky worked on his celebrated compositions written for the Ballets Russes: Petrouchka, the saga of the Russian clown puppet with a soul; and The Rite of Spring, also known by its French title Le Sacre du Printemps, with its evocation of pagan tribal rites in primitive Russia.
     Spring Evening takes the viewer on a visual flight from the dark pines in the foreground and steep, wooded slopes and green pastures to the undulating coastline far below, where lie Montreux, Clarens, La Tour-de-Peilz, and Vevey. Mont-Pèlerin is seen in the distance; beyond, the silhouette of the Jura Mountains bordering on France. With fine brushwork Roseman renders mist rising from the lake and the sun's golden reflection in the pale, blue-green water.
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     Roseman's vibrant palette of viridian and cinnabar green is complemented by warm hues of burnt sienna and golden ochre. Vigorous brushstrokes and a bold use of pictorial space intensify the sense of heightened perspective leading the viewer's eye up to the Alpine wood.
LANDSCAPES
     Among twentieth-century writers and their works associated with the region is F. Scott Fitzgerald, who stayed in hotels in Vevey and in the villages of Glion and Caux, above Montreux. Fitzgerald refers to "an emerald hillside" in describing a scene in Book II in Tender is the Night. Ernest Hemingway resided in the hamlet of Chamby, above Montreux, in a brown house that is mentioned as a refuge for the narrator, Tenente, and his girlfriend Catherine in the final chapters of A Farewell to Arms.
     Higher up the mountainsides above Montreux, narrow, winding roads ascend to steep Alpine pastures bordered by woodlands, as depicted in Roseman's splendid landscape August Afternoon - A Pasture on the Edge of an Alpine Wood, 1991, (fig. 3). Roseman painted August Afternoon to commemorate the 700th anniversary of the founding of the Old Swiss Confederation, dating from August 1, 1291.
     The website page "Ballets Russes" features Roseman's drawings from the Paris Opéra Ballet, which has remounted and today maintains in its standard repertory productions of the Ballets Russes, including Petrouchka and The Rite of Spring, both of which had their world premieres in Paris in 1911 and 1913, respectively.
From Lake Geneva to the Paris Opéra 
     Roseman's panoramas of Lake Geneva, as December Morning, 1987, and Spring Evening, 1988, foretold his work to come: In 1989 the artist received a prestigious invitation to draw the dance at the Paris Opéra.
     Roseman drew at a number of performances of Petrouchka with Paris Opéra star dancers Charles Jude and Kader Belarbi in the title role and The Rite of Spring with Paris Opéra star dancer Marie-Claude Pietragalla as the sacrificial maiden, seen here in the dynamic drawing, (fig. 4), in the collection of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France.
     Roseman drew at rehearsals in the dance studios and at the pré-générale and répétition générale (dress and final dress rehearsals) in the auditorium. Having become " 'an honorary member' of the ballet troupe,'' as the Bibliothèque Nationale de France states in a biographical essay on the artist,[4] Roseman was given the extraordinary privilege to draw during performances, night after night, from the wings of the world-famous stage of the Paris Opéra.
Alpine Landscapes
    Roseman writes in a journal entry from the late 1980's: "On the steep mountain slopes above Montreux, I worked in solitude save for the occasional company of a fox, with inquisitive eyes, who ventured out from the woods, or the plaintive cry of a lynx in whose territory I had unknowingly set up my easel and where I stood painting for hours in the invigorating Alpine air.''
5. The artist at his easel in an Alpine pasture above Lake Geneva, spring 1988. Roseman's paint box, placed on the crossbars of his portable easel, serves as a worktable for his brushes and jars of painting medium and turpentine. On the ground, by his side, are a shoulder bag of art supplies and boxes for transporting his panels and the finished paintings.
     Spring Snowstorm - On the Edge of an Alpine Wood, 1989, (fig. 6, below), skillfully captures the torrent of a spring snowstorm whitening an Alpine pasture and wood above Lake Geneva.
6. Spring Snowstorm -
On the Edge of an Alpine Wood
, 1989
Oil on panel, 24 x 30 cm
 Private collection, Canton Vaud, Switzerland
     "The morning sky was silver gray when I left the chalet in Chardonne," Roseman recounts. "I packed the car with my paint box, portable easel, panels, and travel bag of art supplies, as well as a thermos of hot coffee, and headed east towards Montreux, exited the highway, and started the long drive up the mountain . . . .'' The artist continues with his account of painting Spring Snowstorm:
    "Absorbed in my work, I hardly noticed the first snowflakes drifting gently down. Painting with oil colors on panel, rather than on canvas, enabled me to continue my work as the snow fell in great abundance. It was inspiring to be there painting on the Alpine slope, to capture the spring snowstorm laying a beautiful white mantle over the pines and veiling the woodland farther up the mountainside.''
     Roseman effectively transmits the visual sensation of falling snow. Broad strokes of creamy white paint render the snow covering the ground and pine boughs. Thin glazes of pigment describe gusts of snow ascending the steep Alpine slope and enveloping the wood as more snow falls from above. Delicate lines of a fine pointed brush, dabs of white, and accents of dark brown and maroon define the bare branches being covered with snow.
     Roseman's landscape paintings and drawings are a synthesis of the artist's direct observation of nature and personal expression in the creative process. Spring Snowstorm - On the Edge of an Alpine Wood is a dynamic composition with its rising, snowy foreground; expanse of woodland in the middle distance; and sky, whose diffused light permeates the painting. Through the snowy mist trees take on fascinating silhouettes, while undertones of pale ochre warm the cool, silvery-gray sky in this marvelous landscape.
7. Alpine Snowscape in Spring, 1989
Oil on panel, 38 x 28 cm
 Private collection, Basel
Château de Chillon
10. Château de Chillon,
Approaching Storm
, 2005
Chalks and pastels on paper, 35 x 50 cm
 Private collection, New York
"Lake Leman lies by Chillon's walls:
 A thousand feet in depth below
 Its massy waters meet and flow; . . ."
- Lord Byron
  The Prisoner of Chillon
     In a text to accompany his drawings of the Château de Chillon, Roseman has provided some history from which are several excerpts quoted here:
    "The Prisoner of Chillon is a legendary account of the internment of the Genevan patriot François Bonivard (1493-1570). With my work on the monastic life, I was especially interested to learn that Bonivard had inherited from his uncle the position of commendatory prior of St. Victor, a Cluniac monastery near Geneva. Bonivard sided with Geneva in its opposition to the ruling Savoyards. He was captured by Duke Charles III of Savoy and imprisoned in the dungeon of Chillon in 1532. . . .
'My very chains and I grew friends,
 So much a long communion tends
 To make us what we are: - even I
 Regain'd my freedom with a sigh.' "
12. Stanley Roseman drawing the Château de Chillon, 2008.
     The Château de Chillon, situated on an islet off the northeastern shore of Lake Geneva, or Lac Léman, is considered one of most important historic buildings in Switzerland. A few kilometers east of Montreux, the thirteenth-century castle dominates the shoreline of the great lake.
     Inspired by the castle's eventful history and commanding presence along the shore of Lake Geneva, as well as Lord Byron's famous poem The Prisoner of Chillon, Roseman created a series of impressive works, exemplified by Château de Chillon, Approaching Storm, 2005, featured here, (fig. 10).
     A few days after Roseman painted Spring Snowstorm, he returned to the location, as he writes in his journal:
     Chosen from among a circle of her peers, the maiden begins her "Sacrificial Dance" to the pounding rhythms of the orchestra. The artist's vigorous pencil strokes evoke a visual sensation of Stravinsky's music and capture the kinetic energy and emotion of the star dancer. The maiden leaps in a frenzy, her legs bent under her tunic, her arms flung forward, and exhausted, the tribe's sacrificial victim collapses and dies at the climax of the ballet.
"With a seriousness that pushes him always further in treating a subject or theme,
he continually clarifies and refines, never letting his interest waiver or diminish.''
[9]
- Bibliothèque Nationale de France
    "The Alpine air was refreshing; the quietude, conducive to contemplation. I stationed my portable easel in the snow, placed a panel on my easel, opened my paint box, and took out my palette and brushes, invigorated as I was to begin my work."
Landscape by Stanley Roseman, "Spring Evening - View of Mont-Pelerin and Lake Geneva," 1988, Musee des Beaux-Arts, Rouen. © Stanley Roseman
Landscape by Stanley Roseman, "December Morning - View from Chardonne Overlooking Lake Geneva," 1987, Musee des Beaux-Arts, Rouen. © Stanley Roseman
     Roseman's beautiful Alpine Snowscape in Spring, (fig. 7), depicts the steep incline of a mountain pasture rising up to a small clearing in the dense wood. The spring snowfall has melted off the fir trees, their dark green boughs silhouetted against a pearl-gray sky. The verticality of the trees reaching towards and beyond the top of the picture plane emphasizes the viewer's perspective of looking up the Alpine slope.
     Creamy-white brushstrokes cover the ochre-colored pasture seen emerging from under the snow in the foreground. Roseman finely renders the bare, white branches of the shrubbery in the middle distance; thin brown and maroon branches add linear accents; and dabs of white pigment complete the harmony of painterly textures in this impressive Alpine snowscape in spring.
Stanley Roseman drawing the Château de Chillon, Lake Geneva, 2008. Photo © Ronald Davis
     This and the following page present a selection of Roseman's landscape paintings and drawings from Switzerland and from France.
Landscapes of Switzerland
LANDSCAPES continues on the following page: Landscapes of France
Page 9  -  Landscapes
Biography: Page 9
     Although drawings have traditionally served as studies or drafts for compositions to be realized in another medium, drawings can be autonomous works of art, as are Roseman's drawings. A versatile and prolific draughtsman, Roseman employs a variety of drawing materials to express different subjects, including landscapes.
8. Stanley Roseman drawing at La Tour-de-Peilz, on Lake Geneva, 2015.
     The artist is seen in the photograph here drawing the view of the Alpine mountain Le Grammont, (fig. 9, below), from the Quay Roussy at La Tour-de-Peilz, on Lake Geneva, in August 2015.
     Painterly textures in the landscape range from dark shadows and rich foliage with staccato accents of color to the fine branches and feathery treetops set against a luminous August sky.
     "Over the years,'' Roseman recounts, "I have come to know well the Quay Roussy with its beautiful public garden named the Jardin Roussy; the wonderful walks along the lakeshore from La Tour-de-Peilz to Vevey; and the marvelous views of Lake Geneva and the Alps.'' 
     The northeastern shore of Lake Geneva and the Alpine pastureland inspired the literary imagination of a number of writers. Dostoyevsky's older compatriot Nikolai Gogol had come to Vevey some thirty years before and there worked on writing his novel entitled Dead Souls, considered an outstanding achievement in nineteenth-century Russian literature. The English Romantic poet Lord Byron came to live in Switzerland in 1816 and composed his stirring, narrative poem The Prisoner of Chillon, following a visit to the medieval castle that dominates the water's edge, due east of Montreux. The American born author Henry James took up residence in Vevey at the Hôtel des Trois Couronnes, and the fine hotel, situated as the author notes "upon the edge of a remarkably blue lake,'' was a setting for his novel Daisy Miller, published in 1879.
     In a pasture on a mountainside above Lake Geneva, Roseman painted a beautiful panorama of the great lake in the glow of an evening mist in spring. Spring Evening - View of Mont-Pèlerin and Lake Geneva (Soirée de printemps, vue du Mont Pèlerin et du lac de Genève), 1988, (fig. 2, below), entered the Musée des-Beaux-Arts, Rouen, that same year. Equally enamored of "this very beautiful landscape," the Chief Curator of the Museums of France acquired the painting as a companion work to December Morning, representing two times of the day traditionally devoted to prayer and meditation.
     "Along the path by the shore,'' Roseman recounts, "at a place where the railing ended, Ronald and I climbed down onto jagged rocks. The descent was somewhat precarious as I was carrying my shoulder bag of chalks and my portfolio case with drawing book and extra sheets of paper. I found a large rock with a somewhat flat surface to sit upon. From my rocky perch near the water's edge, I had an excellent view of the castle, the mountains, and the lake. . . .''
     Roseman's extensive series of work of the Château de Chillon was drawn in different seasons and span a number of years. As the Bibliothèque Nationale de France states in a biographical essay on Roseman:
     Roseman drew Château de Chillon at Dusk, 2006, (fig. 11), looking westerly and in proximity to the castle. The artist's striking composition contrasts the massive towers and battlements with the surging waters of the lake. Combining chalks and pastels in this impressive drawing, Roseman renders the imposing, medieval castle silhouetted against an overcast, October sky permeated with mauves, ochres, gray-blues, and pearl gray.
Stanley Roseman drawing at La Tour-de-Peilz, along Lake Geneva, 2015. Photo © Ronald Davis
11. Château de Chillon at Dusk, 2006
Chalks and pastels on paper, 35 x 50 cm
 Private collection, Geneva
    Drawings account for a great part of Roseman's oeuvre. Speaking about the importance of drawing, the artist acknowledges Giorgio Vasari: "The celebrated sixteenth-century Florentine architect, painter, and author of Lives of the Artists affirmed that drawing is the animating principle of the creative process.[6] Vasari, who was the first great collector of drawings, esteemed drawings for their inherent value."[7]
Drawing - the animating principle of the creative process
"Stanley Roseman's drawings show the many facets of his great talents as a draughtsman."[8]
- Bibliothèque Nationale de France
     The Bibliothèque Nationale de France in a biographical essay on the artist commends Roseman for his "innate artistic talent" and states:
"Stanley Roseman's Art of capturing in flight the very essence of the feeling of movement in a few magic pencil strokes, the gift to immortalize the ephemeral."[5]
- Marie-Claude Pietragalla
  Star Dancer of the Paris Opéra
9. Le Grammont, View from La Tour-de-Peilz, 2015
Chalks and pastels on paper, 35 x 50 cm
 Private collection, Canton Vaud, Switzerland
     Le Grammont, View from La Tour-de-Peitz, 2015, is a splendid drawing in chalks and pastels. Le Grammont rises 2,172 meters, or more than 7,000 feet, above the southern shore of Lake Geneva. The calm lake, rendered with sweeping strokes of grays and gray-greens, with reserved areas of the white paper, is strongly contrasted by the soaring mountain mass in bistre, green-browns, gray-umber, and blue-blacks.
1. Stanley Roseman - Dessins sur la Danse à l'Opéra de Paris - Drawings on the Dance at the Paris Opéra
   (text in French and English), (Paris: Bibliothèque Nationale de France, 1996), p. 11.
2. François Bergot and Pierre Rosenberg, French Master Drawings from the Rouen Museum,
   (Washington, D.C.: International Exhibitions Foundation, 1981), p. vii.
3. With sincere appreciation to the staff of the Montreux Archives for their kind assistance in providing texts compiled by Fédia Muller
    on the correspondence of Fyodor Dostoyevsky and the journal Vibiscum, No. 6, 1996, on Nicolai Gogol in Vevey.
4. Stanley Roseman - Dessins sur la Danse à l'Opéra de Paris, p. 12.
5. Ibid., p. 13.
6. Giorgio Vasari, Vasari on Technique, (New York: Dover, 1960), p. 205.
7. Nicolas Turner, Florentine Drawings of the sixteenth century, (London: British Museum, 1986), p. 189.
8. Stanley Roseman - Dessins sur la Danse à l'Opéra de Paris, p. 12.
9. Ibid., p. 11.
    "François Bonivard, the narrator of the poem, recounts the harrowing imprisonment he shared with his two younger brothers. 'They chained us each to a column stone, And we were three - yet, each alone.' The narrator poignantly describes his brothers' deaths in the dungeon. Although Bonivard 'had not strength to stir, or strive,' he endured four years of incarceration and was released when the castle was captured by the Bernese, who turned it into a depot and armory. In the last lines of Lord Byron's poem, the Prisoner of Chillon reflects:
     The photograph here shows the artist drawing the castle from a distant view.
     With a painterly use of chalks and pastels, Roseman drew a powerful image of the Château de Chillon and the forces of nature of an approaching storm. The dramatic sky is rendered in tones of gray, gray-black, and umber contrasted by light ochre, gray-pinks, and silvery whites. The artist juxtaposes verdant foliage, geometric forms of the castle with ochre-colored walls and red-orange roofs, and the rising diagonal of the mountain partly veiled in the distance. Splashing against the dark islet and rocky shore are white-capped waves that visually echo luminous passages of the animated sky in this superb drawing.
Landscape by Stanley Roseman, "August Afternoon - A Pasture on the Edge of an Alpine Wood," 1991, Private collection, Geneva. © Stanley Roseman
Landscape by Stanley Roseman, "Spring Snowstorm - On the Edge of an Alpine Wood," 1989, Collection of the artist. © Stanley Roseman
Landscape by Stanley Roseman, "Alpine Snowscape in Spring," 1989, oil on panel, Private collection, Basel. © Stanley Roseman
Drawing by Stanley Roseman, "Château de Chillon, Approaching Storm" 2005, chalks and pastels, Private collection, New York. © Stanley Roseman
Drawing by Stanley Roseman, "Château de Chillon," 2006, chalks and pastels, Private collection, Geneva. © Stanley Roseman
Drawing by Stanley Roseman, "Le Grammont, View from La Tour-de-Peilz," 2015, chalks and pastels on paper, Private collection, Canton Vaud, Switzerland. © Stanley Roseman
Stanley Roseman painting in an Alpine pasture above Lake Geneva, spring 1988. Photo © Ronald Davis
Drawing by Stanley Roseman of Paris Opera star dancer Marie-Claude Pietragalla, "The Rite of Spring," 1994, Bibliotheque Nationale de France. © Stanley Roseman
     Roseman drew Le Grammont with an effective buildup of pyramidal forms that emphasize the monumentality of the mountain. The pyramidal leitmotif is suggested in the cloud formations depicted with lively strokes of white and gray chalks. A wreath of clouds under the cerulean sky crowns the majestic Le Grammont.
"The mountains, the water, the light - all is magic.''
     The northeastern region of Lake Geneva has been a creative milieu for generations of writers, artists, and musicians. The Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoyevsky, who came to Vevey in 1868, writes in correspondence to his niece: "The mountains, the water, the light - all is magic.''[3]