Léon Detroy was born at Chinon in the Indre-et Loire region of central France in 1857 and was encouraged to pursue a career in art by his uncle, a major collector who lived nearby at Loudun and who had befriended both Corot and Courbet. With his friend, Albert Lebourg (who was soon to establish himself as the leader of the Rouen Impressionists), Detroy had frequented the popular atelier of Jean-Paul Laurens but they soon rejected the dry academic teaching and demanded lessons from nature. To this end Lebourg left for the Auvergne while Detroy chose Gargilesse, a small picturesque village on the River Creuse a few miles east of his birthplace which still has less than 400 inhabitants. He bought a house in the village and travelled throughout the area painting, his easel slung across his back “en bandoulière”. While sketching at nearby Crozant he met the painter Guillaumin and under his influence the hills overhanging the River Creuse became his principal source of inspiration. As Gérald Schurr notes “pour lui, la couleur est lumière”, although his colour harmonies were, at times, a trifle too sweet. Though he concentrated mainly on landscapes he also painted a number of still lifes and this example from the turn of the century shows his awareness of his contemporaries among the Post-Impressionist avant-garde. Towards the end of his long life he came to be known as “L’ermite de la Creuse”, though he had many close friends among his artistic contemporaries, most especially Louis Anquetin, and his neighbour, the poet Maurice Rollinat.