Completed British 20th C, except portraits 18 Can we establish a precise date for this painting of a Parisian bridge by Ronald Dunlop?

The Bridge, Paris
Topic: Execution date

Does this date from 1930 and is it the 'Pont Neuf' by Dunlop which was no 49 priced at 25 guineas in the Redfern Gallery's January 1931 exhibition' Oils by contemporary artists'? Dunlop also exhibited 'Pont Neuf' in 1933 as no 455 at the Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts priced at £26. He also exhibited 'Pont Neuf' as no 56 £26-5-0 in the 1934 exhibition of the National Society of Painters, Sculptors, Engravers and Printmakers.

Martin Hopkinson, Entry reviewed by Art UK

Completed, Outcome

This discussion is now closed. This painting of a Parisian bridge, identified as the Pont Saint Michel, has been given a more likely date of 1929–1930.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to the discussion. To anyone viewing this discussion for the first time, please see below for all the comments that led to this conclusion.


The Collection has commented: 'The inscription on the back of the painting has 'Brook Street Gallery' and 'Paris', but other than this we do not have any further information.'

Jimaa Alaa,

This is Saint-Michel Bridge and the Quai des Grands Augustins

Kieran Owens,

A long biographical essay on Dunlop, on the Howgill Tattershall Fine Art website, contains the following line:

"Dunlop was rewarded for his dedication by his first successful one-man show at the Redfern Gallery in 1929, which allowed him to visit and study in ‘wonderful Paris’."

Confirmation of his exact dates for his time spent in Paris might be contained in his 1956 autobiography, 'Struggling with Paint'.

Kieran Owens,

If Dunlop left for Paris in 1929, and there are some known works from there dated to that year, he either returned with or sent back works to the Redfern Gallery for inclusion in an exhibition in March 1930. The Yorkshire Post and Leeds Intelligencer, of Thursday 13th March 1930, carried a review of the show (attached), mentioning one work in particular, his 'Le Quai Saint-Michel' (item 24). While he could have painted other versions of this scene, if this Discussion's work has any Redfern Gallery labels and the number 24 on the back, it is most likely the same work.

Perhaps the Redfern have the catalogue from this 1930 exhibition and installation photographs, along with a sales record that shows it was purchased by Charles Evans.

Kieran Owens,

In answer to the initial question, it could be dated to 1929 or 1930 but it is not the Pont Neuf.

Also, as confusing as it is, Dunlop exhibited at the Brook Street Gallery in 1929 and throughout the 1930s, while also showing at the Redfern during that decade, so the painting might have moved from one gallery to the other while waiting to be sold.

Following various comments I have just written an email to the Redfern Gallery to see if they might be able to help us resolve questions here.

Kieran Owens,

Just to clarify matters relating to the viewpoint, the painting depicts the Pont St. Michel as painted from the lower pedestrian deck of the the Quai Saint Michel, and not from the Quai des Grands Augustines. The large building on the right hand side is the Tribunal Correctionnel de Paris, which is located on the far side of the bridge, on the Quai des Orfèvres. The Pont Neuf is the next bridge beyond this one. Consequently this could be 'Le Quai Saint-Michel' (item 24) from 1930 as referenced above.

Kieran Owens,

The clarify the matter of location, this painting of the Pont Saint Michel was executed from the Quai Saint Michel and not from the Quai des Grands Augustins. The large building on the right is the Tribunal Correctionnel de Paris, which is situated on the Quai des Orfèvres, on the other side of the bridge. The Pont Neuf is the next bridge along the Seine:

Consequently, this could be the 1930 'Le Quai Saint-Michel' (item 24) painting referenced above.

Jacob Simon,

Keran's identifications of the bridge as Pont Saint Michel and of the likely date, 1929/30, are so convincing that I wonder if it is time for Kenneth to recommend closing this discussion?

Nudged by Jacob, I am pleased to recommend the closure of this discussion, even though David has not been able to report a reply from the Redfern Gallery. Since the bridge was painted from a number of angles as Jacinto has shown, it may not be possible to identify this particular version from a stock-book reference or unillustrated catalogue. Jimaa Alaa obviously identifies the bridge correctly, although one wonders why Dunlop got the curvature of the arches so wrong – as in Kieran’s comparison. Thanks also to Kieran for pointing us to Dr Hilary Taylor’s excellent brief biography on the Howgill Tattershall Fine Art website. Dunlop tends to be one of those painters who hides in plain sight of those insomniacs who thumb the pages of 1930s magazines such as The Artist. As Taylor remarks, ‘one does not often come across an artist whose taste is, at once, so catholic and so discriminating’ – words that might be a fitting conclusion to the present discussion.

I have emailed the Collection to obtain confirmation that they are happy to accept the discussion's findings for relevant updates to the record on Art UK.