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
Landscapes constitute 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 region 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 an impressive 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 the artist's travels to monasteries. 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
© 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 artists painted landscapes in the region of Lake Geneva. Gustave Courbet, who had been a member of the Paris Commune, took refuge from 1873 to 1877 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's work included a number of landscapes of the Lake in the beautiful region of Lavaux, in Canton Vaud.
     Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky took up residence in 1877 at the Pension Richelieu 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.
     Spring Evening takes the viewer on a visual flight from the dark pines in the foreground; 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. On the horizon is the silhouette of the Jura Mountains bordering on France. With fine brushwork Roseman renders mist rising from the lake and the setting sun's reflection in the pale, blue-green water.
     The artist's palette of viridian and cinnabar green is complemented by warm hues of burnt sienna and golden ochre in the landscape. 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.
     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. In the nearby hamlet of Chamby, Ernest Hemingway resided 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 August Afternoon - A Pasture on the Edge of an Alpine Wood, 1991, (fig. 3). Roseman painted the beautiful landscape August Afternoon to commemorate the 700th anniversary of the founding of the Old Swiss Confederation, dating from August 1, 1291.
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
     This and the following pages present a selection of Roseman's landscape paintings and drawings from Switzerland and from France.
Page 9  -  Landscapes
Biography: Page 9
     The northeastern shore of Lake Geneva and the Alpine pastureland inspired the literary imagination of a number of writers. Dostoevsky'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.
Landscape by Stanley Roseman, "August Afternoon - A Pasture on the Edge of an Alpine Wood," 1991, Private collection, Geneva. © Stanley Roseman
"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 composers. The Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoevski, who came to Vevey in 1868, writes in correspondence to his niece: "The mountains, the water, the light - all is magic.''[3]
LANDSCAPES continue on the following pages: Château de Chillon
4. Autumn Morning -
 View from Chardonne of Lake Geneva and the Alps
, 1987
Oil on panel, 18 x 40 cm
Private collection, Switzerland
     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.
9. Stanley Roseman drawing at La Tour-de-Peilz, on Lake Geneva, 2015.
     The artist is seen in the photograph here, (fig. 9), drawing the view of the Alpine mountain Le Grammont from the Quay Roussy at La Tour-de-Peilz, on Lake Geneva, in August 2015.
Stanley Roseman drawing at La Tour-de-Peilz, along Lake Geneva, 2015. Photo © Ronald Davis
    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.[7] Vasari, who was the first great collector of drawings, esteemed drawings for their inherent value."[8]
Landscape Drawings
     Before concentrating on The Rite of Spring, as Stravinsky explains in An Autobiography, the composer began "an orchestral piece in which the piano would play the most important part - a sort of Konzertstück.''[4]  Stravinsky writes: "In composing the music, I had in mind a distinct picture of a puppet, suddenly endowed with life. . . . I struggled for hours while walking beside the Lake of Geneva to find a title which would express in a word the character of my music. . . . I had indeed found my title - Petroushka," recounts Stravinsky. The impresario of the Ballets Russes, Serge Diaghileff, visited Stravinsky at Clarens and with enthusiasm for the Konzertstück encouraged the composer to write a ballet on the theme of the clown puppet. Alexandre Benois, scenarist, artistic director, and cofounder of the Ballets Russes, collaborated with Stravinsky on the ballet Petrouchka, which became a great success and a classic in the modern dance repertory.[5]
     Spring Snowstorm - On the Edge of an Alpine Wood, 1989, (fig. 8, below), captures the torrent of a spring snowstorm whitening an Alpine pasture and wood above Lake Geneva.
8. Spring Snowstorm -
On the Edge of an Alpine Wood
, 1989
Oil on panel, 24 x 30 cm
 Private collection, 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 abundance. It was inspiring to be at my easel on the Alpine slope and painting the woodland in a spring snowstorm.''
     Roseman transmits the visual sensation of falling snow. Broad strokes of creamy white paint render the snow on the pine boughs and blanketing the steep hillside. With dabs of white pigment and accents of dark brown and maroon oil paint, the artist defines the bare branches silhouetted against the iridescent sky.
Landscape by Stanley Roseman, "Spring Snowstorm - On the Edge of an Alpine Wood," 1989, Collection of the artist. © Stanley Roseman
     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.
Panoramic Landscapes of Lake Geneva
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.''
7. 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.
Stanley Roseman painting in an Alpine pasture above Lake Geneva, spring 1988. Photo © Ronald Davis
     Dark shadows in the trees and on the ground add drama to the composition. Slender branches amidst the treetops are silhouetted against a luminous August sky.
     Roseman's splendid panoramas of the eastern region of Lake Geneva include December Morning and Spring Evening, (figs. 1 and 2, above), and Autumn Morning, (fig. 4,) presented here.
11. Les Dents du Midi and the Savoy Alps,
View from La Tour-de-Peilz,
Chalks and pastels on paper, 35 x 50 cm
 Private collection, Switzerland
"magnificent drawings from the artist's oeuvre on the dance."
     The Bibliothèque Nationale de France in a biographical essay on the artist commends Roseman for his "innate artistic talent expressed through a wide range of techniques. . . ." Roseman's landscape drawings of Switzerland are rendered in chalks and pastels. The medium of pastel is akin to painting.
     "Over the years,'' Roseman recounts, "I have come to know well the Quay Roussy with its beautiful public garden named the Jardin Roussy; the walks along the lakeshore from La Tour-de-Peilz to Vevey; and the views of Lake Geneva and the Alps.'' 
10. Le Grammont - View from La Tour-de-Peilz, 2015
Chalks and pastels on paper, 35 x 50 cm
 Private collection, Switzerland
     Le Grammont - View from La Tour-de-Peitz, 2015, is a marvelous drawing in chalks and pastels, (fig. 10). 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, is strongly contrasted by the soaring mountain mass in bistre, green-browns, gray-umber, and blue-blacks.
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
     Roseman drew Le Grammont with a 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.
     Roseman's text written to accompany his landscapes describes the region of Lavaux and its monastic history. "Lake Geneva is the largest of the Alpine Lakes. The micro-climate along the northeastern shore of Lake Geneva is conducive to viticulture. In the twelfth century, Cistercian monks cleared and terraced the brambly hillsides and planted and cultivated vineyards.[6] Chardonne had been the property of the Cistercian Abbey of Haut-Crêt, founded near the village of Palézieux in the second quarter of the twelfth century. The locality of Haut-Crêt is seven to eight kilometers north of Chardonne.
    "The view from Chardonne, some 580 meters above sea level, inspired me to begin a series of landscape paintings in autumn 1987. For several years, I had been writing about my artwork and extensive travels with my partner Ronald Davis in monasteries in England, Ireland, and on the Continent during the late 1970's to early 1980's. In our move to the Lavaux region of Canton Vaud, we had found a modest chalet to rent in the vineyards in the village of Chardonne, where I continued my writing and research on monastic life. In a local bookstore I purchased the publication Vevey and its Surroundings and discovered with great interest the region's history of monasticism and viticulture.
    "On that early morning in autumn, I stood at my easel on the balcony of the chalet and painted a panoramic view of Lake Geneva, the Alpine peaks of the Dents du Midi, and the majestic Savoy Alps."
6. Charles Jude
1994, Paris Opéra Ballet
Pencil on paper,  37.5 x 27.5 cm
Collection of the artist
     At the opening night performance of the Paris Opéra Ballet's presentation of Stravinsky's Petrouchka on 9 February 1994, Roseman created the eloquent drawing of star dancer Charles Jude as Petrouchka, the tragic clown puppet with a soul, (fig. 6 above, right.) The drawing expresses the sympathetic character of Petrouchka. The artist renders a feeling of movement by the contrapposto position of the clown puppet turning to the left as his head turns towards the viewer's right and the expanse of pictorial space. In the artist's delineation of the figure, a treble clef appears in the flowing lines, as though the dancer were embracing the music in his arms. (See "Stanley Roseman and the Ballets Russes," Page 1.)
From Lake Geneva to the Paris Opéra
     The eastern region of Lake Geneva was where Tchaikovsky and Stravinsky - great composers of ballets - lived and wrote in the last quarter of the nineteenth century and first quarter of the twentieth, respectively. Roseman's landscapes of Lake Geneva, which the artist painted in 1987 and 1988, foretold his work to come the following year. In 1989, Roseman received a prestigious invitation to draw the Dance at the Paris Opéra. The drawings of the Paris Opéra Ballet include Tchaikovsky's The Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, and The Nutcracker; and Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring and Petrouchka.
     The Musée d'Art Moderne et Contemporain, Strasbourg, acquired the beautiful drawing of Paris Opéra star dancer Elisabeth Platel, (fig. 5), in a pas de deux choreographed by Balanchine in 1960 to an extract from the third act of Swan Lake, which premiered in 1877. Roseman's swiftly flowing pencil lines capture on paper a stunning leap by the virtuosa ballerina in her variation in the jubilant Tchaikovsky - Pas de Deux. (See "On Drawing and the Dance" - Page 5.) (Drawings from Tchaikovsky's ballets and orchestral music are also presented throughout the website.)
5. Elisabeth Platel,
1996, Paris Opéra Ballet
Tchaikovsky Pas de Deux
Pencil on paper, 38 x 28 cm
Musée d'Art Moderne et Contemporain,
     Les Dents du Midi and the Savoy Alps, View from La Tour-de-Peilz, 2021, (fig. 11), expresses the grandeur of the alpine landscape along the southeastern region of Lake Geneva. Roseman contrasts the massive mountain range with movement in the sky and lake. 
    "On an October afternoon in 2021, I carried my portfolio case containing my drawing book and my shoulder bag with my box of chalks and pastels and walked beyond the eastern perimeter of the boat basin, where I sat on the rocky shore to draw a view of the Dents du Midi and a range of the Savoy Alps."
     Thin glazes of oil paint describe gusts of snow enveloping the woods as more snow veils the fur trees farther up the mountainside in this beautiful Alpine snowscape.
     Roseman has created an impressive landscape of the Dents du Midi with its jagged peaks rendered in various tones of gray and the brown and black Savoy Alps extending beyond the picture plane.
     The artist depicts the animated October sky with fluent strokes of chalks and pastels; white and dark and light tones of gray are complemented by blues, pinks, and gold-ochre. Whitecaps glisten on the waves of Lake Geneva.
     The artist has captured with brush and oil paints the golden light of dawn illuminating the Alpine landscape. The undertone of siena permeates the painting. Thin glazes of blue-gray brushwork render the morning mist rising above the lake and veiling the mountains in the distant valley. The warm light on the calm lake is reflected in the clouds hovering around the Alpine peaks of the Dent des Midi in the center of the composition. A range of the Savoy Alps is rendered with glazes of dark browns depicting the steep mountainsides. On the lower left of the composition is a segment of the shoreline from Vevey, which continues in a semi-circle to La Tour de Peilz, Clarens, and Monteux and beyond to the distant shoreline at the end of the lake. Roseman has created a superb panorama of Lake Geneva and the Alps on an autumn morning.
     Roseman created a series of impressive landscapes of the Château de Chillon along the northeastern shore of Lake Geneva. The thirteenth-century castle is one of the most important historic buildings in Switzerland.
"Stanley Roseman's drawings show the many facets of his great talents as a draughtsman."[9]
- Bibliothèque Nationale de France
     - Stanley Roseman - Dessins sur la Danse à l'Opéra de Paris, Exhibition 1996
                                                                   - Bibliothèque Nationale de France

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 Dostoevski and the journal Vibiscum, No. 6, 1996, on Nicolai Gogol in Vevey.
4. Igor Stravinsky, An Autobiography, (London: Calder and Boyars, Ltd., 1975), p. 31.
5. Ibid., pp. 31, 32, 34.
6. Vevey and its Surroundings, French text: Jean Nicollier, translated by Andree Denham: (Neuchâtel, Editions du Griffon), p. 5. 
7. Giorgio Vasari, Vasari on Technique, (New York: Dover, 1960), p. 205.
8. Nicolas Turner, Florentine Drawings of the sixteenth century, (London: British Museum, 1986), p. 189.
9. Stanley Roseman - Dessins sur la Danse à l'Opéra de Paris, p. 12.