Jean Richard Goubie
French, 1842-1899

Jean Richard Goubie was born in Paris in 1842; he was a pupil of the great French academic master Jean-Leon Gerome. He began exhibiting at the Salon in 1869 and five years later earned a third class medal there. Goubie and his work, particularly his genre and sporting pictures were not only known in his native France, but also much beloved and appreciated in America.

A Travers Bois is a dynamic and meticulously rendered depiction of a hunt. Riding through the mist of a moss covered forest, the large hunting party hastily pursues the prey. With both the hounds and there kill strikingly absent from the picture space, Goubie enhances the excitement and tension of the outing depicted. The action is further heightened by the pose and placement of the rider in the foreground, most likely the obligatory “master of foxhounds” Leaning precariously forward, he tightly grasps the reins and a bugle while the four legs of the animal beneath him are suspended in mid air.

Goubie echoes this construction with the rider at the right background. Like his counterpoint in the foreground, he leans forward thereby guiding the viewer’s eyes to the right edge of the picture space where the hounds and prey have dashed out of sight. The legs of his horse are also suspended in air, hovering mightily above the amber-colored brush below. Rather than simply holding the bugle, his mouth is clamped firmly around the instrument, urging the other riders in the party to charge ahead. A Travers Bois is a captivating rendition of the hunt created by a true and enduring master of the genre.