Study at the foot of the Pont D'Avignon, circa 1930
Framed (ref: 7795)
Oil on squared paper
Provenance: The Artist's Family
Cundall submitted paintings of Avignon to the Royal Academy Summer Exhibitions of 1952, 1953 and 1964, the latter of which this plein air study is likely to relate to. Cundall travelled extensively in Europe both before the Second World War and afterwards and his rapidly painted sketches , made on the spot in either gouache or thinned oil, retain a vitality that he did not always manage to recreate in his more formal oil paintings worked up later in his studio.
The Pont Saint-Bénezet , also known as the Pont d'Avignon , originally spanned the Rhône River between Avignon and Villeneuve-lès-Avignon. It was built between 1171 and 1185, with an original length of some 900 m (2950 ft), but it suffered frequent collapses during floods and had to be reconstructed several times. Over the centuries, it became increasingly perilous as arches collapsed and were replaced by rickety wooden sections.
The bridge was finally put out of use by a catastrophic flood in 1668, which swept away much of the structure. It was subsequently abandoned and no more attempts were made to repair it. Since then, its surviving arches have successively collapsed or been demolished, and only four of the initial 22 arches remain intact today.