RICHARD GREEN FINE PAINTINGS • ESTABLISHED 1955
La Vie en Rose: French Paintings 1840 – 1940
La Vie en Rose French Paintings 1840 â€“ 1940
Cover: Auguste Renoir, Les roses au rideau bleu, catalogue no.15
La Vie en Rose French Paintings 1840 â€“ 1940 Opens Wednesday 2nd November 2011 All paintings are for sale
147 New Bond Street, London W1S 2TS Telephone: +44 (0)20 7493 3939 Fax: +44 (0)20 7499 3278 Contact: Penny Marks, Jonathan Green and Matthew Green
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CONTENTS SALON PAINTERS
1 2 3
JEAN-BAPTISTE-CAMILLE COROT JEAN-BAPTISTE-CAMILLE COROT LÉON-AUGUSTIN LHERMITTE
Saulaie avant la fenaison L’abreuvoir; vue prise près des ramparts, avec la Tour de Lanterne, La Rochelle Foins, fauchers et deux femmes le matin
THE IMPRESSIONISTS AND THEIR CIRCLE
4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
ÉVA GONZALÈS EUGÈNE BOUDIN GIUSEPPE DE NITTIS HENRI FANTIN-LATOUR ALFRED SISLEY CAMILLE PISSARRO PAUL-CÉSAR HELLEU FEDERICO ZANDOMENEGHI ALFRED SISLEY BERTHE MORISOT PAUL-CÉSAR HELLEU PIERRE-AUGUSTE RENOIR
La fenêtre Trouville, scène de plage Avenue du Bois de Boulogne Chrysanthèmes Paysage au tas de bois Ramasseuse d’ herbe Portrait de Mademoiselle Granier Enfant jouant à la poupée L’aval du Pont de Moret Jeune fille étendue À quai Les roses au rideau bleu
16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27
HENRI LEBASQUE HENRI-EDMOND CROSS ALBERT ANDRÉ ACHILLE LAUGÉ HENRY MORET HENRI MARTIN ALBERT-CHARLES LEBOURG PIERRE BONNARD ALBERT MARQUET HENRI LE SIDANER PIERRE BONNARD ALBERT MARQUET
Petite fille dans une prairie Paysage da la Chaine des Maures Jardin du Luxembourg Alentours de Cailhau Baie de Trouville, Contentin La tonelle de l’angle nord-ouest du parc de Marquayrol La Marne au Parc-Saint-Maur Maison rose au treillage, Le Grande-Lemps L’Estaque La table, soleil dans les feuilles, Gerberoy Le corsage rayé Toulon, Cap Brun
28 29 30 31 32
HERMANN MAX PECHSTEIN KEES VAN DONGEN RAOUL DUFY RAOUL DUFY FERNAND LÉGER
Fischkutter in der nachmittagssonne La femme au foulard Régates au Havre La bassin de Deauville Nature morte sur fond jaune
The French paintings in this catalogue celebrate the joys of life: the beauty of landscape, fashionable women, the vitality of Paris, the pleasures of family life. ‘Painting is another word for feeling’ said Monet. This selection of works explores how French painters approached the challenge of translating reality into art and how they made their unforgettable images. The naturalistic landscapes of Salon painters like Corot gave place to the experiments of Impressionism, expressed in such works as Alfred Sisley’s Paysage au tas de bois, 1877 and Berthe Morisot’s Jeune fille étendue, 1893. The quest to marry observation, technique and feeling was lifelong, as can be seen in Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s vibrant still life, Les roses au rideau bleu, 1912.
The Post-Impressionists took the search for light and atmosphere a stage further, often employing scientific colour theories. Henri-Edmond Cross’s Paysage de la Chaine des Maures, 1904, captures the shimmering heat of the south of France in a tour-de-force of Divisionism. Pierre Bonnard, Achille Laugé, Henri Martin and Henri Le Sidaner each conjured up the evanescent beauty of the French countryside in a highly individual, poetic way. The fourth section of the exhibition is devoted to the Modern Masters who were enraptured by the zest and speed of twentieth-century life. In the playful work of Raoul Dufy and Fernand Léger, colour floats free from realism and representation.
As always, we owe a debt to the scholars and institutions whose knowledge has enriched our appreciation of this fascinating era: Mme Denise Bazetoux, Mme Sylvie Brame, M. Jacques Chalom des Cordes, M. Guy-Patrice Dauberville, M. Martin Dieterle, Mme Yann Farinaux-Le Sidaner, M. Didier Imbert, M. Cyrille Martin, M. Jean-Claude Martinet, M. Patrick Offenstadt, the Fondazione Enrico Piceni, M. Jean-Yves Rolland, Mme Marie-Caroline Sainsaulieu, the Comité Alfred Sisley, Dr Aya Soika, Mme Nicole Tamburini, M. Rodolphe Walter, Mme Frédérique de Watrigant, M. Guy Wildenstein and Mme Evelyne Yeatman.
JEAN-BAPTISTE-CAMILLE COROT Paris 1796 – 1875 Ville d’Avray
Saulaie avant la fenaison
Signed lower left: COROT . Canvas: 8 ⅝ x 13 ⅜ in / 21.9 x 34 cm Frame size: 13 ½ x 19 ¼ in / 34.3 x 48.9 cm In an antique Louis XIV carved and gilded frame
‘Beauty in art consists of a truthfulness in the impression we have received from an aspect of nature’, Corot declared in 1856. Just as Boudin was revered by the Impressionists for his experiments in capturing coastal light and atmosphere, so Corot was regarded by them as the supreme exponent of naturalistic, plein-air landscape painting.
Painted circa 1855-60 PROV ENANCE:
Sale, Collection Georges Renand, Paris, 13th December 1988, lot 56; purchased by a European private collector Rehs Galleries, New York, 2005 Private collection, USA To be included in the sixth supplement to Alfred Robaut’s catalogue raisonné of the work of JBC Corot, being compiled by Martin Dieterle
Corot spent from 1825 to 1828 in Italy, returning there in 1834 and 1843. He followed the precept of his teacher Achille Etna Michallon to make oil studies out of doors, directly from the motif. Returning to France, Corot travelled during the summer, making direct, delicate oil sketches, which were then used as the inspiration for larger Salon pieces, often with a Classical, narrative element. Saulaie avant la fenaison dates from circa 1855-60 and is an exquisite example of Corot’s smaller-scale oil compositions. He uses simple, carefully-balanced elements, producing a series of subtly differentiated horizontal bands to give a sense of recession and spaciousness. His palette is a poetic melange of grey-greens, yellow-greens, ochres, mouse-grey, pearl-grey, brown: unity is achieved through atmosphere and tone. The sensitivity and directness of the brushwork parallels the handling in Constable’s oil sketches. This intense observation of nature is given an extra dimension by a quiet human presence: the cow girl watching her charges under the trees and the man setting out across the meadow to a welcoming village on the horizon.
JEAN-BAPTISTE-CAMILLE COROT Paris 1796 – 1875 Ville d’Avray
L’abreuvoir; vue prise près des ramparts, avec la Tour de Lanterne, La Rochelle
Signed lower left: COROT . Canvas: 13 ¼ x 18 ¾ in / 33.5 x 47.5 cm Frame size: 20 x 25 in / 50.8 x 63.5 cm In an antique Louis XIV carved and gilded ‘rose corner’ frame Painted in 1851 PROVENANCE:
M le Marquis de Verpiellière, then by descent Private collection, USA LITER ATURE:
Alfred Robaut, L’Oeuvre de Corot: Catalogue Raisonné et Illustré, Paris 1905, vol. II, pp.232-233, no.677, illus.
Following the death of his mother in February 1851, Corot travelled extensively through northern France, visiting Arras, Brittany and Normandy. In July he arrived in La Rochelle where he stayed for three weeks painting with his friends Brizard and Comairas. He returned to Paris with one oil painting, Vue du port de La Rochelle (Yale University Art Gallery), and several oil studies, all painted en plein air. This group of La Rochelle images is considered to be amongst the most Impressionistic of Corot’s oeuvre. The cool tonality and gentle treatment of the subject distinguishes L’abreuvoir from the rest of Corot’s work, setting it apart as a painting of remarkable subtlety and poise. In 1918 Pierre-Auguste Renoir saw Corot’s La Rochelle studies and commented to the art dealer René Gimpel: ‘There you have the greatest genius of the century, the greatest landscape artist who had ever lived. He was called a poet. What a misnomer! He was a naturalist. I have studied ceaselessly without ever being able to approach his art. I have often gone to the places where he painted: Venice, La Rochelle, ah what trouble they’ve given me! It was his fault, Corot’s, that I wanted to emulate him. The towers of La Rochelle – he got the colour of the stones exactly, and I could never do it.’ (Gimpel, 1963, entry for 20th March 1918, p.28).
Vue du port de La Rochelle, 1851. Yale University Art Gallery.
LÉON-AUGUSTIN LHERMITTE Mont-Saint-Père, Aisne 1844 – 1925 Paris
Foins, fauchers et deux femmes le matin
Signed lower right: L. Lhermitte Canvas: 25 ½ x 20 ¼ in / 64.8 x 51.4 cm Frame size: 37 x 32 in / 94 x 81.3 cm In its original Louis XIV style gilded composition frame Painted circa 1919 PROVENANCE:
The artist’s studio Allard Barbizon House, London, 1926 M Newman, London Sir John Reid, Glasgow, then by descent Mrs EM Salvesen, Glassel, Scotland, then by descent LITER ATURE:
D Coral Thomson, Barbizon House: An Illustrated Record, London 1926, no.15 Monique Le Pelley Fonteny, Léon Augustin Lhermitte: Catalogue Raisonné, Paris 1991, p.151, no. 247, illus.
Painted at the height of his powers, Foins, fauchers et deux femmes le matin is an exemplary late work by Lhermitte of a harvested field with three French peasants, carefully drawn and masterfully executed. We enter the scene via the reaper, sitting with his back to us on the freshly cut ground. The colours of his well-worn clothes, blue trousers, a grey waistcoat and white shirt, seem to reflect and assimilate those of his environment. He holds a hammer in his right hand, the curved blade of a sickle or scythe resting across his left leg ready to be repaired. He twists to talk with two women standing to his right. The first is dark haired and dressed in subtle shades of blue, wearing one blouse open over another. She leans companionably on the second woman, dressed in clogs, a grey skirt under a rolled-up apron, a white blouse and a yellow head scarf, perhaps the brightest colour in the composition. This figure (often referred to as La faneuse or the haymaker) and her graceful pose resting on a pitchfork, was a favourite of Lhermitte, who depicted her often on her own or as part of larger figural groups in works such as Harvesters at rest, 1888 (National Gallery of Ireland) and Sundown, return of the cattle, 1897 (The Dayton Art Institute, Ohio). The seated man with his scythe was another cherished figure for Lhermitte, who also represented him in The reaper's rest, 1918 (Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle, County Durham) and Haying scene, 1890 (Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Washington University, St Louis). While maintaining the vertical format and the combination of standing women and seated man, the reaper in the present painting has been rotated 180 degrees so that we see him from behind, his legs parallel with the diagonal lines of freshly cut hay. The man himself has changed, but retains the same pose and holds the same agricultural tools of his trade. The haying scene at the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum has one further similarity in that it describes the same trees and landscape setting as the present work, the hazy outline of a building in the distance possibly Rue Chailly farm in the artist’s native village of Mont-Saint-Père.
Lhermitte’s interest in representing the lives of rural labourers in France, including harvesters, shepherds and gleaners, developed from his own humble origins in the village of Mont-SaintPère in the Aisne region of France. Encouraged by the success of his painting The payment of the harvesters, 1882 (Musée d’Orsay, Paris), the artist dedicated his career to the description of rustic life and the heroic dignity of its labourers.
Fenaison, goûter, deux figures (The reaper's rest), 1918. Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle, County Durham.
THE IMPRESSIONISTS AND THEIR CIRCLE
ÉVA GONZALÈS 1849 – Paris – 1883
Signed lower left: Éva Gonzalès Canvas: 21 ⅞ x 18 ⅞ in / 55.6 x 47.9 cm Frame size: 33 x 29 in / 83.8 x 73.7 cm In its original Barbizon style fluted composition frame Painted circa 1865-70 PROVENANCE:
Éva Gonzalès sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, 20th February 1885, lot 36 (FFr. 75) Private collection, France Private collection, Paris EXHIBITED:
Paris, Salons de La Vie Moderne, Éva Gonzalès, January 1885, no.27 LITER ATURE:
Marie-Caroline Sainsaulieu and Jacques de Mons, Éva Gonzalès 18491883: Étude Critique et Catalogue Raisonné, Paris 1990, no.24, illus.; illus. p.274
Éva Gonzalès was born in 1847 in Paris into a talented family. Her father, Emmanuel Gonzalès, was a famous novelist1, and her mother, a talented harpist2, guided the education of their two daughters with the lilt of her mezzo-soprano voice. After a childhood steeped in literature and music, notably opera 3, Éva Gonzalès headed towards an artistic career. She chose painting and on 3rd January 1866 joined the atelier of Charles Chaplin4, fashionable portraitist of the grand bourgeoisie and Parisian aristocracy. It was unthinkable at the time for a young girl of good family to attend the atelier of Edouard Manet: he had shaken the Establishment with his painting Olympia, exhibited at the Salon of 1863. With this work, rejected at the time, the artist opened the way for the Impressionists and became the precursor of modern art. Yet Éva became his student, his only pupil, in February 1869. La fenêtre was executed circa 1865-1870, during which Gonzalès initially followed the teachings of Charles Chaplin, with whom she remained until May 1867; she then worked on her own before attending the studio of Manet. This painting shows the qualities of subtlety and flexibility of her brush. The two little girls, quietly sitting on a balcony, pose in pink and blue-striped dresses. One holds a book, the other a doll. The brush of the artist skilfully conveys the soft texture of fabrics, the craftsmanship of the wrought iron balcony and behind, the foliage of the wisteria. Through the branches, one can see two Medici vases surmounting the pillars of a gate, and to the left, the silhouette of a large house5. In the foreground, notice the stack of books, including one with a yellow cover (probably E Dentu editions)6 at the foot of the girl in pink. The artist portrays here a delicate still life. Her dexterity is revealed in the execution of the still, open white pages. Through books, Éva Gonzalès pays tribute to her father, whom she worshipped and admired. Featuring as a school book in La fenêtre, the book becomes bedtime reading in Le réveil (catalogue raisonné no.81). It can be the main subject of the painting, as is the case with the novel hidden in a musical score in En cachette (no.90). It is also a chromatic counterpoint in Sous le berceau (Honfleur) (no.108): the yellow book re-enlivens the
ensemble with raw colour against cool green and blue tones. Finally, found on the knees of the sitter in La lecture au jardin (no.115), a masterpiece of Éva Gonzalès, the book takes on the dominant colours of the painting: red for the cover and green for the band. La fenêtre can be compared to a pastel executed in 1873-1874, called La nichée 7, and exhibited at the Salon of 1874 (fig. 1). The artist uses in both cases the same pale blue and pink tones creating a melody that the art critic Castagnary was quick to point out: ‘A girl in a pink bathrobe sits in front of her dressing table [covered with a blue cloth] and looks upon a teeming litter of puppies in a basket. It’s fair, bright and full of seductive harmony; Miss Éva Gonzalès has an education as a colourist and it shows at first sight. There is a sense in what she puts into each production. Nothing vulgar, nothing ill-mannered: grace in its utmost simplicity and naturalness. These are happy qualities that cannot fail to achieve the best results’. Now presented in the catalogue of the Salon des Artistes Français as the pupil of Charles Chaplin and Edouard Manet, Éva Gonzalès received praise and encouragement from the most important critics and authors, even Alexandre Dumas himself. She led her artistic career in the shadow of Edouard Manet whose ideas she embraced, refusing, as he did, to participate in the Impressionist exhibitions. The official arena of the Salon was hers, and her artistic career, fired with intelligence and strong determination, led her to be recognized as a pioneer of modern art. She always maintained a very feminine inclination for soft colours, used here in La fenêtre, but she eventually learned how to use bursts of red and green in service to a new pictorial writing used in La lecture au jardin. What would she have painted had she lived longer? Her paintings, as rare as they are beautiful, are a testament to her passion. Marie-Caroline Sainsaulieu
Fig. 1. Éva Gonzalès, La nichée, 1873-74, pastel, 35 ½ x 28 ¼ in. Musée d’Orsay, Paris.
Retrospective exhibition of Èva Gonzalès’s work at La Vie Moderne, 1885. Photograph: private collection.
1 Emmanuel Gonzalès (1815-1887) is today forgotten. 2 Éva Gonzalès made a painting of her mother playing the harp (Sainsaulieu catalogue raisonné op. cit., no.55). 3 Éva Gonzalès painted in 1874 Une loge aux Italiens (cat. rais. no.61), with her sister Jeanne and Henri Guérard, Manet’s engraver, posing as the couple in the opera box. Éva married Henri Guérard in 1879. 4 1825-1891, painter and engraver. 5 An oral tradition records that the little girls were the children of the caretakers of the château de Dampierre, the property of the Duc de Luynes. Éva Gonzalès was probably introduced to Dampierre either by Charles Chaplin or by her father Emmanuel Gonzalès, President of the Société des Gens de Lettres. Thanks to this office, Emmanuel Gonzalès was received in all the salons of Paris. 6 This publisher, celebrated in the nineteenth century, published Emmanuel Gonzalès. 7 Bought by the French State at the sale of 1885 after Gonzalès’s death. Today the pastel is in the Musée d’Orsay, Paris.
EUGÈNE BOUDIN Honfleur 1824 – 1898 Deauville
Trouville, scène de plage
Signed and inscribed lower right: A Mr Duplessis. E. Boudin Panel: 6 ¾ x 13 in / 17 x 33 cm Frame size: 13 x 19 in / 33 x 48.3 cm In an antique Louis XIV carved and gilded frame Painted circa 1870-74 PROVENANCE:
Given by the artist to M Duplessis, Paris Charles Lafonte, Paris; Ivor Churchill, London M Knoedler Gallery, New York Marguerite Weinberg (née Kendal-Bushe), Manoir de la Massonière, Saint-Christophe-en-Champagne; by descent LITER ATURE:
Robert Schmit, Eugène Boudin, 1824-1898, Paris 1973, vol. I, p.222, no.610, illus.
Eugène Boudin, born in Honfleur and bred to the sea, made the Normandy coast a major theme of his painting. He first visited Trouville in 1861 or 1862 and returned there every summer for the rest of his life. In the early nineteenth century Trouville had developed from a quiet fishing port into a fashionable bathing place for the aristocracy and Parisian bourgeoisie, la reine des plages, with grand hotels and a Casino.
The technique and subject of this painting is very similar to The beach at Trouville, circa 1870-74, in the National Gallery, London. The present painting is inscribed by Boudin to its first owner, a Mr Duplessis. Later it was owned by the Anglo-American collector Marguerite Kendal-Bushe, who firstly married the artist Pierre Kohl (1897-1985). She later married Jo Weinberg and created a wonderful garden at La Massonière, Saint-Christophe-en-Champagne.
Boudin frequently explored the motif of elegant holidaymakers on a beach, a subject from ‘modern life’ of which the poet and critic Charles Baudelaire, who launched his reputation, thoroughly approved. Boudin remarked in a letter of 1868: ‘[I have been congratulated] for daring to include the things and people of our own time in my pictures, for having found a way of making acceptable men in overcoats and women in waterproofs….But don’t these bourgeois, who stroll on the jetty towards sunset, have the right to be fixed on canvas, to be brought to the light’1.
Eugène Boudin, The beach at Trouville, c.1870-74. The National Gallery, London.
In his beach scenes, Boudin worked on a small scale, often on panel, but in a panoramic format which emphasizes the vast skies and radiant light of the coast. In the 1870s, when the present Trouville, scène de plage was painted, he adopted a freer, flickering brushwork which melds the figures, sea and cloud-flecked sky into one sparkling impression. His palette is an infinitely subtle mix of greys, blues, beige and buff, enlivened with touches of red. A modest man, who lived only to paint, Boudin wrote of his struggle with nature: ‘I feel this vastness, this delicacy, the brilliant light which transforms everything to my eyes into magical bushes and I can’t make my muddle of colours convey this’2. The critic Felix Buhot commented more justly that Boudin ‘was one of the few artists capable of retaining a separateness and a discreetness in his rendering of both the play and reflection of light and the outline of people and objects; his palette of greys and blues, his exquisite shading, his consistent harmony were neither conventional nor formulistic – rather, they were an accurate reflection of nature glimpsed sensitively’3.
1 Quoted by John House in the essay ‘Boudin’s Modernity’ in Vivien Hamilton, Boudin at Trouville, p.20. 2 Quoted in Hamilton, op. cit., p.9. 3 Quoted in ibid., p.14.
GIUSEPPE DE NITTIS Barletta 1846 – 1884 Saint-Germain-en-Laye
Avenue du Bois de Boulogne
Signed and dated lower left: De Nittis 74 Canvas: 12 ⅜ x 16 ¾ in / 31.4 x 42.5 cm Frame size: 20 ½ x 25 in / 52.1 x 63.5 cm In a nineteenth century fluted composition frame PROVENANCE:
Thomas Agnew & Sons, Manchester Private collection, UK, purchased from the above circa 1950; by descent The authenticity of this work has been confirmed by Fondazione Enrico Piceni, certificate no.163
Avenue du Bois de Boulogne was painted in 1874, the year of the first Impressionist exhibition, which included five of de Nittis’s paintings. It depicts three elegantly attired women strolling along the Avenue du Bois du Boulogne, accompanied by a cluster of equally elegant dogs. The view is to the east, with the Arc de Triomphe in the background. This fashionable boulevard, renamed Avenue Foch in 1929, was considered to be one of the most beautiful streets in Paris. Bordered by gardens and elegant residences, it attracted Paris’s chicest inhabitants who promenaded in their finery on foot, on horseback or in carriages. The wide streets and tree-lined boulevards of Baron Hausmann’s Paris feature frequently in de Nittis’s work, particularly after he settled permanently in the city in 1872.
Avenue du Bois de Boulogne.
La Place du Carrousel: Ruines des Tuileries en 1882. Musée du Louvre, Paris.
HENRI FANTIN-LATOUR Grenoble 1836 – 1904 Buré
Signed and dated upper left: Fantin / 1875. Canvas: 27 ½ x 24 in / 68.5 x 62.2 cm Frame size: 39 ½ x 37 in / 100.3 x 94 cm In an antique Louis XIV carved and gilded frame PROVENANCE:
Edwin Edwards (1823-1879), London Obach & Co., London M. Bonjean, France, acquired by 1906 F & J Tempelaere, Paris Van Gogh, Amsterdam E Heldring, Amsterdam, acquired by 1910 Goudstikker, Amsterdam, 1928 M. Knoedler & Co. Inc., London Private collection, 1956 Susan L Brody Associates, Ltd., New York Private collection, USA, acquired from the above in 1995 EXHIBITED:
Paris, Palais de l’Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts, Exposition de l’oeuvre de Fantin-Latour, 1906, no.80, entitled Chrysanthèmes pompoms Amsterdam, Stedelijk Museum, Tentoonstelling van Schildereijen en Aquarellen, 1910, no.74 Barnard Castle, Bowes Museum, Painting Flowers: Fantin-Latour and the Impressionists, 14th April–9th October 2011, exh. cat. by Emma House and David Ingram, p.41, no.18; illus. in colour p.4
Madame Fantin-Latour, Catalogue de l’oeuvre complet de Fantin-Latour, Paris 1911, no.762, p.82 To be included in the forthcoming catalogue raisonné of the work of Henri Fantin-Latour currently being prepared by Galerie Brame & Lorenceau
Henri Fantin-Latour was renowned for his still lifes of flowers, which he painted from the 1860s until his death in 1904. Calm and contemplative, they expressed his shy and retiring nature. Although he was on good terms with the Impressionist painters, Fantin’s approach to art was fundamentally different from them. He once remarked that the had ‘a horror of movement, of animated scenes, and the difficulty of painting in the open air with sun and shade’ (quoted in Edward Lucie-Smith Fantin-Latour, Oxford 1977, p.22). Fantin-Latour painted his flowers in the studio, usually against a simple piece of grey cloth or cardboard, which emphasised the delicate balance of his compositions. In this painting of Chrysanthèmes, the flowers seem artlessly arranged, yet Fantin-Latour has an exquisite understanding of the light on the varying levels of flowers and the dark shadows of the foliage. He balances with superb skill rich red and pink blooms and the deep blue vase with white and yellow flowers. The bouquet exists solidly in space, a symphony of rounded forms. In the 1870s, the decade of Impressionism, Fantin-Latour was at the height of his powers. His painterly treatment of the asters and the understanding of their structure came not only from an awareness of the exuberant brushwork of the Impressionists, but also from years of studying and copying the Old Masters during his academic training. His rich, assured technique is influenced both by Chardin and by Venetian masters such as Titian. Gracefully and objectively, Fantin-Latour translates the essence of the flowers into paint. This painting belonged to Edwin Edwards (1823-1879) one of Fantin-Latour’s staunchest patrons. Fantin-Latour had met Edwards while staying with his friend and mentor James McNeill Whistler’s sister in London in 1859. Edwards, a former King’s Proctor and keen amateur painter, shared with Fantin-Latour a passion for music. He bought many of Fantin-Latour’s still lifes and became in effect his English dealer, in 1871 clearing the artist’s studio of sketches, still life and flower pieces after the privations of the Franco-Prussian war and establishing a buoyant market
for his work in England. After Edwards’s death Fantin-Latour maintained a friendship with his wife, Ruth, a gifted pianist.
Asters in a vase, 1875. Saint Louis Art Museum, Missouri.
ALFRED SISLEY Paris 1839 – 1899 Moret-sur-Loing
Paysage au tas de bois
Signed and dated lower right: Sisley 77 Canvas: 15 x 22 in / 38.1 x 55.9 cm Frame size: 23 x 30 in / 58.4 x 76.2 cm In an antique Louis XIV carved and gilded frame PROVENANCE:
Ödön Faragó, Budapest; sale Ernst Museum, Budapest, 1935, lot 227, bt. Chorin Mr and Mrs Ferenc Chorin (lost possession 1943-45) Edmund W Mudge, Dallas Christie’s New York, 15th November 1988, lot 3 Christie’s New York, 5th November 2003, lot 202 (sold after an agreement with the heirs of Mr and Mrs Ferenc Chorin) Salis & Vertes, Salzburg; by whom sold to a European private collector in 2004 EXHIBITED:
Budapest, Muscarnok (Hall of Exhibitions), First Exhibition of Art Works Taken into Public Ownership, 1919, room VI, no.27 Budapest, The Countess Eva Almásy-Teleki Institute of Art, Exhibition of French Art Works in Private Hands, 1940, no.210 Tokyo, Galerie Art Point, Impressionists, 1989, no.170
Lászlo Mravik, The “Sacco di Budapest” and Depredation of Hungary 1938-1949, Budapest 1998, no.4204, illus. The Comité Sisley confirms the authenticity of this painting, which will be included in the new edition of the Catalogue Raisonné of Alfred Sisley by François Daulte, being prepared at Galerie Brame & Lorenceau by the Comité Alfred Sisley
This radiant landscape was painted in 1877, when Sisley was living on the Seine at Marly-le-Roi. Christopher Lloyd describes Sisley’s paintings of the 1870s as ‘some of the finest pictures in his oeuvre’1. In the second half of the decade Sisley placed less emphasis on recession and balance and abandoned short, soft-edged, square brushstrokes in favour of the richly-interwoven filaments of colour and vibrant impasto which give such power to Paysage au tas de bois. Sisley captures the exquisite light of the Seine valley which rises to distant purple hills. The pearly, complex blue sky, flecked with touches of pink, green and cream, fills two-thirds of the painting. Sisley believed that the sky was the keynote of a painting, writing to the art critic Adolphe Tavernier: ‘Not only does it give the picture depth through its successive planes (for the sky, like the ground, has its planes), but through its form, and through its relations with the whole effect or with the composition of the picture, it gives it movement’2. The wood stack at the left of the painting, built up in touches of purple, lilac, violet, pink and midnight blue, anchors the composition and contrasts with the foreground vegetation. The bushes, composed of interlocking emerald and yellow-green brushstrokes, are shadowed in blues and purples, forming a visual link with the mass of the wood stack. The agitated texture of the foreground superbly evokes the breeze in the landscape as well as the complexity of our visual perception. Sisley told Tavernier: ‘I am in favour of a variation of surface within the same picture….particularly when it is a question of rendering a light effect. Because when the sun lets certain parts of a landscape appear soft, it lifts others into sharp relief. These effects of light, which have an almost material expression in nature must be rendered in material fashion on the canvas’3.
1 'Marly-le-Roi and Sèvres: 1875-1880’ in London, RA/Paris, Musée d’Orsay/Baltimore, Walters Art Gallery, Alfred Sisley, exh. cat. ed. by MaryAnne Stevens, 1992, p.149. 2 Quoted in Stevens, op. cit., pp.10-11. 3 Quoted in ibid., p.10.
CAMILLE PISSARRO Saint Thomas 1830 – 1903 Paris
Signed and dated lower right: C. Pissarro 82 Gouache on paper: 14 ½ x 10 ¾ in / 36.8 x 27.3 Frame size: 21 x 17 ½ in / 53.3 x 44.4 cm In an antique Louis XIV carved and gilded frame PROVENANCE:
Galerie Durand-Ruel, Paris, stock no 12308, acquired by 25th August 1891 Joseph Durand-Ruel, Paris A Aude, Paris Arthur Stoll (1887-1971), Basel, acquired from the above on 27th January 1938 Private collection, Switzerland, acquired by the 1940s, and thence by descent Richard Green, London, 2006 Private collection, USA EXHIBITED:
Paris, Galerie Durand-Ruel, Exposition de l’Oeuvre de Camille Pissarro, April 1904, no.144 Paris, Galerie Durand-Ruel, Tableaux et gouaches par Camille Pissarro, January 1910, no.85 Paris, Galerie Durand-Ruel, Tableaux par Camille Pissarro, February-March 1928, no.107
Ludovic Rodo Pissarro and Lionello Venturi, Camille Pissarro, son art – son oeuvre, Paris 1939, vol I, p.270, no.1368, illus. vol II, pl.268
Camille Pissarro first exhibited paintings of peasants in 1879, observing the rhythms of rural life around Pontoise, north-west of Paris. Ramasseuse d’ herbe belongs to a group of works dating from the early 1880s in which the figures which had previously merely peopled his landscapes now moved to the forefront of his work. In the Seventh Impressionist Exhibition in 1882 Pissarro exhibited over thirty pictures, a majority of which revealed his new interest in the human form. ‘In fact these paintings are somewhat surprising for an artist who is so often regarded as a landscape painter. In this respect Pissarro moved closer to Degas and Renoir – the supreme figure painters of the Impressionist group. Pissarro’s figures also have a certain psychological introspection that can be found in the subject matter treated by Degas. In contrast with the 1870s, the figures in Pissarro’s paintings of the early 1880s are immobile, or, alternatively, pursue gentle tasks. They sit, lie, or loll on the ground, chatting, resting or reflecting. It is as though, having decided to enlarge the figure within the composition, Pissarro wants to focus our attention on the inner state of mind, as opposed to the outward activity’1.
builds the composition around contrasts of green and purple, with the branches of the trees embowering the woman and the red and white cottages in the distance providing a comforting reminder of human community. Galerie Durand-Ruel bought this work in August 1891 and it then entered the private collection Joseph Durand-Ruel at 37 rue de Rome, Paris. In 1938 it was bought by the Basel collector Arthur Stoll (18871971), who amassed a considerable collection of French Impressionist and Swiss art in the first half of the twentieth century. It was acquired by another Swiss private collector by the 1940s and descended in his family.
In 1886, the critic Alfred Paulet wrote of Pissarro’s peasant paintings: ‘all his studies of country life are magnificent documents that leave a comforting impression…This poet sees nature as robust. This vision is different from that of the great artists who injected sadness and bitterness into the placidity of country life. The great bucolic painters always have described aspects of the same character. They tell us unceasingly of man crushed by the earth that forces him to work but also nourishes him…Pissaro (sic) notes a healthier side that is more refreshing to the sight. It is neither more nor less true than the other, only less sad. He makes us see the robust peasant, strong in his work, in the middle of the day in full sunlight. And he does this as a poet, by instinct, without rhetorical effort. He writes his poems in a magnificent language with superb draughtsmanship and colour’. In Ramasseuse d’ herbe, Pissarro employs the medium of pastel in sensitive, dancing touches. Haloed against the light, the peasant woman is compact and self-absorbed as she works at her task. Pissarro
1 Christopher Lloyd, Pissarro, London 1981, pp.94-96.
PAUL-CÉSAR HELLEU Vannes 1859 – 1927 Paris
Portrait de Mademoiselle Granier
Signed centre left: Helleu. Pastel on paper: 37 ¾ x 25 ½ in / 95.9 x 64.8 cm Frame size: 43 x 33 in / 109.2 x 83.8 cm In its original gilded pastel frame
the sweet gestures of his models, expressing, in Edmond de Goncourt's famous phrase, the ‘instantanés de la grace de la femme’. Helleu’s pastels breathe an atmosphere of almost Symbolist mystery, a little ‘Whistlerian’.
Executed circa 1885–90
In this pastel of Mademoiselle Granier, Helleu suggests an atmosphere of intimacy. We notice, as so often in his pastels, the desire to limit tones, here the dominant colours of blue, brown and cream. The soft relief of the girl’s face, her serious expression, the intense glance of her beautiful blue eyes transfix the painter. Her fringe and long curls of brown hair frame her face, emphasizing the creamy perfection of her skin and her bright blue eyes. This portrait expresses with sincerity the grace and beauty of the child. We note the delicacy of the representation of the lace on the collar and the sleeves of the dress.
Private collection, France The authenticity of this pastel was confirmed in 2003 by Mme Howard Johnson, daughter of Paul-César Helleu. Its authenticity has been confirmed in 2011 by Mme Frédérique de Watrigant, Présidente de l’Association des Amis de Paul-César Helleu; it will be reproduced in the catalogue raisonné of Helleu which is currently in preparation Paul-César Helleu, a leading member of the Société des Pastellistes, exhibited from 1883 until 1890 a number of pastels which are harmonies in blue, gold and yellow, studies in grey or brown. From 1885 he obtained great success and attracted laudatory articles from critics such as Joris Karl Huysmans, Octave Mirbeau and Roger Marx. Helleu particularly liked the medium of pastel for its lightness and delicacy, its transparency which gave grace and evanescence to his models. In his portraits taken from life, Helleu seized the movement,
Mme Frédérique de Watrigant, Présidente de l’Association des Amis de Paul-César Helleu.
FEDERICO ZANDOMENEGHI Venice 1841 – 1917 Paris
Enfant jouant à la poupée
Signed lower left: Zandomeneghi Pastel on paper: 21 ½ x 18 in / 54.6 x 45.7 cm Frame size: 31 x 28 in / 78.7 x 71.1 cm In a Louis XV style gilded pastel frame Executed circa 1890-1900 PROVENANCE:
Galerie Durand-Ruel, Paris, acquired from the artist on 20th February 1901 as deposit no.10020 and entered into stock on 11th June 1901, no.6438; transferred to Durand-Ruel, New York as stock no.2598; Jeptha Homer Wade II (1857-1926), acquired from Durand-Ruel on 17th December 1901 Private collection, USA, from circa 1960 (possibly acquired in an estate sale); Private collection, Ohio (acquired from the above); by descent This pastel has been authenticated by the Fondazione Enrico Piceni and registered in the archive as no.174
This charming pastel was executed in the last decade of the nineteenth century, when Federico Zandomeneghi, nicknamed the ‘Vénitien’, was well established in Paris and represented by Paul Durand-Ruel, champion of the Impressionists. Throughout the 1890s he explored the theme of the feminine, depicting young women bathing, at their toilette, taking tea with friends or reading. He also explored the world of childhood in paintings such as Les belles images1 and Enfant regardant sa poupée 2, paralleling the intimate works of Berthe Morisot and Mary Cassatt and music such as Bizet’s Jeu d’enfants (1871). The pastel medium, pioneered by Zandomeneghi’s friend and sparring partner Degas, is particularly appropriate for Enfant jouant à la poupée, which captures the delicate, yet intense and private world of childhood. The artist’s viewpoint hovers above the young girl seated on the floor, approaching, but not invading her inviolable space. Her body forms a triangle of rapt concentration and the elegantly-dressed doll, ‘walking’ forward, seems imbued with the life that the girl’s childish imagination has given it. The oblique viewpoint, as well as the witty parallels between the adult and dolls’ chairs, cut off by the picture frame, attest to Zandomeneghi’s study of Japanese prints. He exploits the softness of pastel to convey the child’s flawless skin and the exquisite coloured shadows within her white dress. Enfant jouant à la poupée superbly balances warm and cool colours, the vivid blue of the girl’s stockings and the patterned blue and green wallpaper contrasting with the warmth of her skin and her striking red hair. Zandomeneghi, like Paul Helleu, was especially fond of red-haired models, the vibrant colour providing the keynote around which many of his compositions are based. Despite his sensitivity to textures, Zandomeneghi’s outlines remain ‘classically clear’: ‘In his pictures, the outline is never a purely decorative appendage, common destiny in many post and neoImpressionist paintings, but clearly delineates the planes, the lines of perspective, and irradiates from one focal point’3. Although influenced by the Impressionists, he proudly forged his own unique
style which retained elements of his Italian heritage, from the colourism of Venetian Renaissance painting to the shimmering eighteenth century pastel portraits of Rosalba Carriera. Durand-Ruel introduced Zandomeneghi to the New York public in January 1901, a reviewer noting of this show: ‘Especially interesting are the pastels in which the artist has done some of his most careful work and got some of his best results. In the use of his colors in the pastels he is as lavish as he is studious, with results of a fullness and body which works in pastel do not always have’ (The New York Sun, 11th January 1901). American collectors responded enthusiastically to Zandomeneghi. Enfant jouant à la poupée was sold by DurandRuel in New York in December 1901 to the financier Jeptha Homer Wade II (1857-1926), grandson of Jeptha Homer Wade I (1811-1890), founder of Western Union. Like his grandfather, JH Wade II was a keen collector and a co-founder of the Cleveland Museum of Art in 1913. He gave textiles, jewels, enamels and paintings to the museum and established a substantial purchasing fund. The Zandomeneghi was acquired by another American private collector circa 1960 and has remained in American private collections for over a century.
1 Private collection; see Fondazione Enrico Piceni, Federico Zandomeneghi. General Catalogue. Updated and augmented new edition, Milan 2006, no.502, colour plate LXX. 2 Private collection; Zandomeneghi 2006, op. cit., no.719. 3 Enrico Piceni, Zandomeneghi, 1990 edition ed. Maria Grazia Piceni Testi with Roberto Capitani, p.63.
ALFRED SISLEY Paris 1839 – 1899 Moret-sur-Loing
L’aval du pont de Moret
Signed lower left: Sisley Pastel on paper: 9 ¼ x 12 in / 23.5 x 30 cm Frame size: 17 ¼ x 20 in / 43.8 x 50.8 cm In a Louis XV style carved pastel frame Painted in the 1890s PROVENANCE:
Private collection, France The Comité Alfred Sisley confirms the authenticity of this pastel, which will be included in the new edition of the Catalogue Raisonné of the Work of Alfred Sisley by François Daulte, being prepared at Galerie Brame & Lorenceau by the Comité Alfred Sisley
Moret-sur-Loing near Fontainebleau inspired some of Alfred Sisley’s finest work. As he wrote to Monet in 1881, ‘It’s not a bad part of the world, rather a chocolate-box landscape’1. After a brief sojourn there in 1882-3, Sisley returned to the picturesque old town in 1889, staying in the rue de l’Eglise. From 1891 until his death in 1899 – the longest that he had ever settled anywhere – he lived with his family at 19 rue Montmartre, a house with a pretty, high-walled garden and an attic studio. He painted Moret in every mood, particularly the massive gothic church and the bridge with its cluster of medieval buildings. Bridges – at Argenteuil, Villeneuve-la-Garenne and Hampton Court - formed a motif which Sisley explored throughout his career, fascinated by the balance of sky, land and reflections. Sisley began to use the medium of pastel in the late 1880s and handled it ‘with mastery’2. Unlike his friend Monet, who was famous and wealthy by the 1890s, Sisley all his life struggled financially. Probably with encouragement of his dealer, Paul Durand-Ruel, Sisley took to pastel as a faster and cheaper medium than working in oil, though he continued to make oil paintings. Pastel suited his fluid, confident mature style, his ability to evoke the essence of a landscape. L’aval du pont de Moret conveys the pulsating nature of light, the cloud-flecked sky and the shifting reflections. However, the composition is also founded on lines of calm purity: the strong horizontal of the bridge, the blocklike forms of the mill and the diagonals of the riverbank. Warm pinks and violets coalesce in the central band, greens provide the sense of recession and the blue of sky and river an overarching luminousness. The shimmering, poetic view finds its counterpart in the ‘Impressionist’ music of Frederick Delius, who was also an inhabitant of Moret in the 1890s. The view is taken downstream from the bridge, with the Provencher mill to left of centre. Moret in medieval times held a strategic position on the road from Paris to Sens. Its mills had developed from the twelfth century, exploiting the power of the Loing to grind corn, tan hides and full cloth. The Moulin Provencher was originally a fulling mill, used in the preparation of supple leather for gloves. After the
French Revolution it was used to grind corn; the mill was named after the Provencher family who owned it in the early nineteenth century. The ancient building was destroyed by the retreating German army in 1944. On the right (western) end of the bridge the town gateway, the twelfth century Porte de Bourgogne, can be glimpsed through the poplars that line the riverbank. Moret never ceased to fascinate Sisley. As Richard Shone comments: ‘Gathered in one spot were the motifs that had mesmerized him since he began to paint….Here was that conjunction of man-made and natural, the interleaving of foliage and house fronts between sky and water’3 that had marked his work since his early Impressionist views of the Canal St-Martin.
Alfred Sisley, The bridge at Moret, 1893 (oil on canvas). Musée d’Orsay, Paris.
1 Quoted in London, Royal Academy/Paris, Musée d’Orsay/Baltimore, Walters Art Gallery, Alfred Sisley, ed. MaryAnne Stevens, 1992-3, p.222. 2 Richard Shone, Sisley, London 1992, p.153. 3 Shone op. cit., p.159.
BERTHE MORISOT Bourges 1841 – 1895 Paris
Jeune fille étendue
Stamped with the signature lower left: Berthe Morisot Canvas: 25 ⅝ x 32 ¼ in / 65.6 x 81.9 cm Frame size: 35 ¼ x 42 in / 89.5 x 106.7 cm In an antique Louis XIV carved and gilded frame Painted in 1893 PROVENANCE:
Estate of the artist M Gorce, Paris Galerie Durand-Ruel et Cie, Paris, acquired from the above in November 1929 Durand-Ruel Galleries, New York, acquired from the above in April 1946 Sam Salz, Inc., New York Mr and Mrs Philip Levin, New York, acquired from the above in April 1968 The Collection of Janice Levin, a gift from the above in 2001 EXHIBITED:
New York, Durand-Ruel Galleries, Exhibition of Paintings by Mary Cassatt and Berthe Morisot, October-November 1930, no.18 New York, Durand-Ruel Galleries, Exhibition of Paintings by the Master Impressionists, October-November 1934, no.15 London, M Knoedler & Co., Inc., Berthe Morisot, Madame Eugène Manet, May-June 1936, no.9
New York, Durand-Ruel Galleries, Exhibition of Paintings by Berthe Morisot and Mary Cassatt, October-November 1939, no.2 New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York Collects, JulySeptember 1968, p.17, no.134 Washington DC, National Gallery of Art; Fort Worth, Kimbell Art Museum, and South Hadley, Massachusetts, Mount Holyoke College Art Museum, Berthe Morisot – Impressionist, September 1987-May 1988, exh. cat. by C Stuckey and W Scott, pp.163-164, no.96, illus. in colour New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, A Very Private Collection: Janice H. Levin’s Impressionist Pictures, November 2002-February 2003, p.16, no.3, illus. in colour The Birmingham Museum of Art and elsewhere, An Impressionist Eye: Painting and Sculpture from the Philip and Janice Levin Foundation, February 2004-January 2005 LITER ATURE:
M Angoulvent, Berthe Morisot, Paris 1933, p.147, no.568, illus. entitled Sur la chaise longue M-L Bataille and G Wildenstein, Berthe Morisot, Catalogue des peintures, pastels et aquarelles, Paris 1961, p.46, no.340, fig. 339 A Higgonet, Berthe Morisot’s Images of Women, Cambridge 1992, pp.242-143, no.103, illus. A Clairet, D Montalant, and Y Rouart, Berthe Morisot, Catalogue raisonné de l’oeuvre peint, Montolivet 1997, p.282, no.343, illus.
In Jeune fille étendue Berthe Morisot portrays an enchanting scene of a young girl reclining on a sofa absorbed in a daydream. The reflective nature of this painting is highly characteristic of Morisot’s later period, when she painted solitary, beautiful young women in the rooms of her new apartment on the rue Weber in Paris. ‘In the summer of 1893 Morisot hired one of Renoir’s models to portray such reverie more explicitly than ever before. Posed in a white dress that registers every coloured nuance of the ambient light, the model reclines on an Empire chaise longue decorated with a swan’s neck motif. Resting her head on her right hand, she looks off at nothing in particular, perhaps dreaming of a different time or place…’1. The blonde model is Jeanne Fourmanoir; this is the largest of three related images that Morisot painted of her in the drawing room of her home. Morisot executed a closely-cropped preliminary pastel drawing for Jeune fille étendue to refine the model’s features. The fulllength version, entitled Sur la chaise longue 2, provides a setting for the daydreaming woman and reveals the object of her attention: a painting of the artist’s daughter, Julie, playing the violin.
defines her legacy thus: ‘To the light of Impressionism, Berthe Morisot added that of happiness; the kind of happiness that seems to belong to a paradise lost, with its harmony, sweetness and gracefulness…In her vision, there is the desire to break with Realism in favour of the illuminations and enchantments which light up the everyday, without giving into the mundane which weighs so heavily on existence’4.
Berthe Morisot, 1893-4. Musée Marmottan Monet, Paris.
In her later years Morisot had become skilled in creating poetic images of beautiful young girls gazing out of a painting, as if in deep contemplation. Charles Stuckey comments: ‘Although Morisot’s art often portrayed her immediate surroundings, family members, and friends, it was often a form of escape, and the goal of her ostensibly mundane pictorial ideas was to record the experience of reverie that transcends routine appearances’3. In the present painting, Morisot departs from her earlier portrayals of women in a variety of domestic scenes. As her choice of subject matter evolved in the 1890s, her approach became less formal. Her application of paint was smoother, the line strengthened and the contours were more defined. An artist of remarkable depth and skill, Berthe Morisot sought throughout her life to record the beauty and fragility of life. She once said: ‘My own ambition was limited to wanting to capture something of what goes by, just something, the smallest thing’. Jean-Marie Rouart
1 2 3 4
Charles Stuckey in exh. cat. Berthe Morisot – Impressionist, op. cit., p.163. Clairet et al., no.355; private collection. Stuckey ibid., p.163. Berthe Morisot, catalogue raisonné de l’oeuvre peint, 1997, p.10.
PAUL-CÉSAR HELLEU Vannes 1859 – 1927 Paris
Signed lower left: Helleu Canvas: 25 ½ x 32 in / 64.8 x 81.3 cm Frame size: 35 x 41 in / 88.9 x 104.1 cm In a Louis XV style carved and gilded pastel frame Painted circa 1900 PROVENANCE:
Private collection, France LITER ATURE:
Gabriel Mourey, ‘Yachting: études et dessins par Helleu’, Figaro Illustré, no.138, September 1901, p.8, illus. The authenticity of this painting has been confirmed by Mme Frédérique de Watrigant, Présidente de l’Association des Amis de PaulCésar Helleu; it will be reproduced in the catalogue raisonné of Helleu which is currently in preparation
Tall, thin and elegant, the very image of a fin-de-siècle aesthete, PaulCésar Helleu might have been invented by Proust: in fact he features in À la Recherche du Temps Perdu as the painter Elstir. A friend of the equally dandified Whistler, Sargent and Jacques-Emile Blanche, Helleu made his name as a society portraitist, tracing the exquisite outlines of beauties like Countess Greffulhe and Consuelo, Duchess of Marlborough in drypoint or oil paint. Helleu was also a very fine landscape painter, with a particular fondness for yachting scenes. Helleu rented his first yacht in 1898, voyaging to console his wife Alice for the death of their young daughter. In 1900, around the time this picture was painted, he bought Étoile. Helleu had been an Anglophile since his first visit in 1885. He and the ravishing, red-haired Alice frequently sailed the Channel, sometimes mingling with the fashionable crowds in Cowes Week, sometimes enjoying tranquil days at sea with their young family. Below decks, Étoile was as fastidiously decorated as Helleu’s Paris home, in a scheme of gold, white and burnished wood complemented with sensuous bowls of roses. À quai was illustrated in an article by Gabriel Mourey, ‘Yachting: études et dessins par Helleu’, which appeared in Figaro Illustré for September 1901. Mourey describes a voyage on board Étoile from Harfleur to England. Helleu’s paintings, drawings and drypoints show Alice striking elegant poses on the deck of the yacht and his sailor-suited, six-year-old son Jean, alive with energy and curiosity, examining the compass or gazing at the horizon, fully at home in his nautical element. For Mourey, yachting scenes were an ideal subject for a painter of contemporary life: ‘si moderne, si expressif des moeurs et des élégances d’aujourd’hui!’1. There were the yachts themselves, masterpieces of design which combined practicality and beauty. There were the elegant lady passengers in their blue and white yachting clothes and stylish hats. Most important of all was the radiance of sun, sea and sky, the feeling of liberty on these dreamlike voyages.
À quai probably depicts Harfleur, a sleepy little port a few miles from the brash Le Havre. Helleu has produced a composition of dazzling simplicity where the brushwork dances across the canvas with the freedom of a pastel crayon. Working in three of his favourite colours – white, blue and gold – Helleu savours the sleek shapes of the boats and balances the horizontal thrust of the land and the verticals of the masts, which catch the sunlight above and shimmer in reflection below us. Human presence is subordinated to an overwhelmingly joyous sense of airiness and palpitating light. The long, caressing brushstrokes and intricate calligraphy of À quai proclaim Helleu as one of the most sensitive painters of marine subjects in the Impressionist era. Mme Frédérique de Watrigant, Présidente de l’Association des Amis de Paul-César Helleu
Photograph of Madame Helleu on board the yacht Étoile, Dinard 1903.
1 Mourey op. cit., p.4.
PIERRE-AUGUSTE RENOIR Limoges 1841 – 1919 Cagnes
Les roses au rideau bleu
Signed lower left: Renoir Oil on canvas: 18 ¾ x 21 ⅞ in / 47.5 x 55.5 cm Frame size: 28 ½ x 31 in / 72.4 x 78.7 cm In a Louis XV style carved and gilded frame Painted in 1912 PROVENANCE:
Acquired from the artist by Maurice Gangnat (1856-1924), Paris; his sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, Collection Maurice Gangnat, 24th-25th June 1925, lot 142; purchased from this sale by a European private collector; by descent EXHIBITED:
Düsseldorf, Kunsthalle, Renoir, 1955, no.44 Paris, Galerie Durand-Ruel, Renoir, Collection Maurice Gangnat, 1955, no.44 London, Marlborough Fine Art Ltd, Renoir: an Exhibition of Paintings from European Collections, 1956, no.34, illus. (as dating from 1908) LITER ATURE:
William Gaunt, Renoir, London 1952, illus. in colour pl.92 Maximilien Gauthier, Renoir, Lugano 1967, illus. in colour p.77 (titled Les roses à la teinture rose)
To be included in the forthcoming catalogue critique of the work of Pierre-Auguste Renoir being prepared by the Wildenstein Institute from the François Daulte, DurandRuel, Venturi, Vollard and Wildenstein archives
Although he painted flowers throughout his career, roses are a leitmotif of Renoir’s later years. He savoured their rounded, voluptuous shapes, which he likened to the female form. The odalisques and goddesses which he painted in his last years in Provence have rose-pink skin and rose-red drapery traced with a caressing softness. Portraits of his favourite model Gabrielle Renard, cousin of his wife Aline, show this bountiful young woman carelessly adorned with roses. As the present painting shows, Renoir also revelled in roses for their own sake. He declared: ‘Painting flowers lets my brain rest. It does not cause the same tension of spirit as when I face a model. When I paint flowers, I put down tones, I boldly try values, without having to worry about losing a canvas’. When he had completed a nude, he would often use up the paint still on his palette to sketch a few roses. When Ambrose Vollard expressed his astonishment at this profusion, Renoir replied: ‘this is research into skin tones that I am doing for the nudes’1. Renoir described how he gathered and arranged the flowers for his still lifes: ‘Walking through the garden, I pick flower after flower and gather them one after another as they come in my arm. Then I go into the house with the intention of painting them. I arrange them according to my fancy – and what a disappointment: they have lost all of their magic in the arrangement. But what has happened? The unconscious arrangement made as I pick them based upon the impulse of taste that leads me from one flower to the next, has been replaced by a willed arrangement. This is influenced by memories of bouquets that have long since wilted but whose charm has stayed in my memory and guides me in putting together the new bouquet’2. Les roses au rideau bleu was painted in 1912, when Renoir was in his seventies, but reflects his undimmed creative vitality. The predominant forms are the oval of the roses and the blue vase. Within this harmony of forms, each rose is carefully characterized both in tone and shape. Renoir weaves his composition together with the touches of green that interlace the warm colours of the rose petals and the flickers of pink in the blue curtains that echo the
hues in the flowers. The picture space is shallow, the wall covering in the background a hazy tapestry of shimmering brushstrokes. This picture was once part of the magnificent group of 160 laterperiod Renoirs amassed by the industrialist Maurice Gangnat (18561924), who met the artist around 1904 through Paul Gallimard. He bought directly from Renoir and was one of the few patrons invited to his home, Les Collettes near Cagnes. Renoir painted Gangnat’s young son Philippe in 1906 and Gangnat himself in 1916 (both in private collections). He owned Gabrielle with a rose, 1911 (fig. 1), which Philippe presented in his father’s memory to the French national museums; it is today in the Musée d’Orsay. In 1909 Gangnat also commissioned two luxuriant paintings of dancers, Dancing girl with tambourine and Dancing girl with castanets (fig. 2) (both National Gallery, London) for the dining room of his Paris apartment. Renoir praised Gangnat’s unerring eye: ‘When he entered the studio, his glance always fell on the canvas which Renoir considered the best. “He has an eye!” my father stated’3. Les roses au rideau bleu has descended in the family of the European collector who bought it at Gangnat’s estate sale of 1924.
Fig. 1. Gabrielle with a rose, 1911. Musée d’Orsay, Paris.
Fig. 2. Dancing girl with castanets, 1909. National Gallery, London.
1 Quoted in Gilles Néret, Renoir Painter of Happiness, 2001, p.408. 2 Quoted in G Adriani, Renoir, Tubingen 1996, p.274. 3 Jean Renoir, Renoir, My Father, English edn., London 1962, p.448.
HENRI LEBASQUE Champigné 1865 – 1937 Le Cannet
Petite fille dans une prairie
Signed and dated lower left: H. Lebasque 98 Canvas: 26 x 20 ⅜ in / 66 x 51.8 cm Frame size: 35 ½ x 29 ½ in / 90.2 x 74.9 cm In a Louis XIV style carved and gilded frame PROVENANCE:
Galerie Lorenceau, Paris Galerie Jacques Bailly, Paris; from whom acquired by a European private collector EXHIBITED:
Nice, Musée de Ponchettes, Henri Lebasque, July-September 1957, no.2 (titled Fillette dans un pré and dated 1892) LITER ATURE:
Denise Bazetoux, Henri Lebasque: Catalogue Raisonné, Neuilly-surMarne 2008, vol. I, p.156, no.497, illus., and p.372 In 1895 Henri Lebasque married a girl from Alsace, Catherine Fischer. Their daughter Marthe was born that year, followed by Hélène (‘Nono’) in 1900. Lebasque took his inspiration from his happy domestic life, painting many tender scenes of his wife and young daughters in idyllic landscapes. The family was based in Paris but spent long periods in the country, at Pierrefonds near Compiègne in 1895 and at Yaudet, Brittany in 1896-7.
The round-faced Petite fille dans une prairie, painted in 1898, is recognisable as Marthe from other portraits made around this time1. Lebasque had been influenced by the colour theories of Seurat and Signac, but by the late 1890s had developed his own evocative and expressive brushwork, here melding long strokes to create the meadow and using dabs of impasto to suggest the multicoloured shadows of the little girl’s dress. Juxtapositions of violet and cream, yellow and green, purple and orange keep the eye in a constant sense of stimulation, superbly evoking the dazzling light of a hot afternoon. The motif of a child or young woman in a meadow, harmoniously at one with nature, had of course notably been treated by Monet in the 1870s, in paintings of his wife Camille and young son, for example Les coquelicots à Argenteuil, 1873 (Musée d’Orsay, Paris)2. In Petite fille dans une prairie, the pristine freshness of the meadow is likewise echoed in the innocent beauty of the little girl, posing with the wildflowers that she has gathered. Around the same time as the present work, Henri Lebasque made another painting of a child standing in a meadow, Petite fille cueillant des fleurs, c.1898-99 (private collection)3. In this painting the girl is placed slightly more into the foreground and holds a larger bunch of flowers. 1 See Bazetoux op. cit., p.155, no.492 and 493. 2 Daniel Wildenstein, Monet, Catalogue Raisonné, vol. II, Nos. 1-968, Taschen/Wildenstein Institute, Cologne 1996, p.117, no.274, illus. 3 Bazetoux p.156, no.498, illus.
HENRI-EDMOND CROSS Douai 1856 – 1910 Saint-Clair
Paysage de la Chaine des Maures
Signed lower left: Henri Edmond Cross; titled on the stretcher Canvas: 25 ⅝ x 31 ⅞ in / 65.2 x 81 cm Frame size: 36 ½ x 42 ½ in / 92.7 x 108 cm In a Louis XIV style carved and gilded frame Painted in 1904 PROVENANCE:
Deposited by Cross with Galerie Druet, Paris, by 1905 Galerie Bernheim-Jeune, Paris, by 1910 Private collection, Europe; Sotheby’s London, 26th March 1985, lot 11; from whom bought by a UK private collector EXHIBITED:
Paris, Galerie Druet, HE Cross, 1905, no.2 Paris, Societé des Artistes Indepéndents, 1906, no.1185 Paris, Galerie Bernheim-Jeune, HE Cross, 1910, no.5 Brussels, La Libre Esthétique, Rétrospective HE Cross, 1911, no.41 Paris, Galerie Bernheim-Jeune, La Montagne, 1911, no.41 Paris, Galerie Bernheim-Jeune, HE Cross, 1913, no.40 Brussels, Galerie Georges Giroux, Exposition Anniversaire 1911-46, Trente-cinq ans d’activité, 1946, no.28
Lucie Cousturier, ‘HE Cross’, L’Art Décoratif, March 1913, illus. p.126 Isabelle Compin, HE Cross, Paris 1964, no.130, illus. p.231 To be included in the catalogue raisonné of the work of Henri-Edmond Cross being prepared by Patrick Offenstadt
This tour de force of Divisionism, painted in 1904, was included in the important one-man show of Henri-Edmond Cross’s work held at Galerie Druet the following year. In the first decade of the twentieth century, Cross’s work was increasingly appreciated both by critics and patrons; ill-health slowed his output (though not his skill) and he died in May 1910. The first decade of the twentieth century, however, has been described by Françoise Baligand as Cross’s ‘plus féconde’ period: ‘Après les incertitudes des années précédentes, il pousse ses recherches à’l’extrème et, abandonnant les contraintes qu’il s’imposait, laisse épanouir son art au gré de son imagination’1.
The Massif des Maures, Provence.
Cross had settled at Saint-Clair near St Tropez in 1891 and lived there for the rest of his life, returning to Paris for exhibitions and medical treatment. In 1904 he spent much time in the Midi, visiting Valtat at Anthéor and Signac at St Tropez early in the year, giving hospitality to Van Rysselberghe and encountering Matisse who was spending the summer with Signac. The company of friends, ferment of ideas and superb southern landscape inspired Cross to some of his finest works. The present painting depicts the Massif des Maures – so-called because of its sombre, wooded fastnesses – which rises behind the coast between Hyères and Fréjus. Cross evokes the hot light of the Midi with square strokes of pure colour, juxtaposing orange and purple, pink and green, blue and cerise to conjure up a landscape of pulsating brilliance. Maurice Denis commented of him: ‘Cross has resolved to represent the sun, not by bleaching his colours, but by exalting them, and by the boldness of his colour contrasts….The sun is not for him a phenomenon which makes everything white, but is a source of harmony which hots up nature’s colours, authorises the most heightened colour-scale, and provides the subject for all sorts of colour fantasies’2. The boy in the foreground gives a sense of scale to the folds of thickly-wooded hills under a radiant sky, while his reclining pose, graceful as a Roman sculpture, conjures up the Classical past of southern France. One can almost smell the scent of sun-warmed thyme and hear the chirping of cicadas.
1 Françoise Baligand in Douai, Musée de la Chartreuse de Douai, Henri-Edmond Cross 1856-1910, 1998-99, exh. cat. by Françoise Baligand et. al., p.42. 2 Quoted in London, Royal Academy, Post Impressionism, 1979, exh. cat. by John House, p.61.
ALBERT ANDRÉ 1869 Lyon – Laudun 1954
Jardin du Luxembourg
Signed lower right: Albert André Canvas: 20 x 24 ½ in / 50.8 x 62.2 cm Frame size: 26 x 31 in / 66 x 78.7 cm In its original Louis XIV style gilded composition frame
This work will be included in the forthcoming catalogue raisonné of Albert André being prepared by Evelyne Yeatman
by that of his friends, reflecting at different times the art of Renoir, Bonnard and Cézanne. This painting of the Jardin du Luxembourg recalls Renoir’s celebrated Moulin de la Galette, 1876 (Musée d’Orsay, Paris) in its interest in a crowd of people enjoying themselves in the open air with sunlight filtering through trees. André captures the unique atmosphere of the Paris park, with its mixture of formality (smartly-dressed people, raked gravel and neatly clipped flower beds) softened by the abundant green hues of nature. As in the work of Bonnard at this date, André is fascinated both by the observation of light and colour relationships and by the patterns that the elements of the scene make on the picture surface. He keeps the eye in movement by a judicious fretwork of white and pink touches offset by deep bluegreen and violet shadows.
Born in Lyon, Albert André studied art in that city and spent some time designing for its important silk textile industry. Moving to Paris, he studied at the Académie Julian in 1890, where he met and was influenced by the Post-Impressionist ideals of Louis Valtat, Maurice Denis and Pierre Bonnard. Renoir saw André’s work at the Salon des Indépendents in 1894 and recommended him to Paul Durand-Ruel, who became his dealer. André retained a close relationship with Renoir until the end of Renoir’s life, writing an important monograph about him and administering his estate.
The Jardin du Luxembourg was created in 1611 for Marie de Medici, who built a palace and park that emulated the Pitti Palace in Florence where she had grown up. The Petit-Luxembourg palace today houses the French Senate. With gracious, formal beds and lavish sculpture, the park by the late nineteenth century contained a marionette theatre, greenhouses, a music kiosk and a rose garden, and was a fashionable place to stroll. It features in nineteenth century literature: the lovers Cosette and Marius of Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables meet there and the Jardin du Luxembourg also appears in Henry James’s The Ambassadors.
Painted circa 1905 PROVENANCE:
Galerie Durand-Ruel, Paris Private collection, Germany
André also had a distinguished career as a curator, taking charge of the museum at Bagnols-sur-Céze in 1917. His own work was influenced
ACHILLE LAUGÉ Arzens 1861 – 1944 Cailhau (Aude)
Alentours de Cailhau
Signed and dated lower right: H. Laugé / 09 Canvas: 21 ¼ x 28 ¾ in / 54 x 73 cm Frame size: 30 ¼ x 37 ½ in / 76.8 x 95.2 cm In a Louis XIV style carved and gilded frame PROVENANCE:
the light falls on them. The white almond blossom silhouetted against the brilliant blue sky, trembling slightly in the breeze, is executed in nervous dabs of paint, while the tree trunks are densely woven filaments of colour and the grey-blue shadows skitter in looser strokes across the greening spring landscape. The painting is filled with the light of the Midi.
Private collection, France
The son of prosperous farmers, Achille Laugé spent his childhood in the village of Cailhau in Languedoc, not far from Carcassonne. After nearly a decade in Paris, he returned to Carcassonne in 1888 and seven years later settled in Cailhau, where he remained for the rest of his life. The rolling, sun-soaked terrain of Cailhau, with the snow-capped peaks of the Pyrenees rising in the distance, was the inspiration for Laugé’s finest landscapes.
Country roads around Cailhau, with trees like sentinels marching across open, hedgeless terrain, are favourite themes of Laugé. Devoted to plein-air painting, he travelled the region in his atelier roulante, a glass-sided studio on wheels which allowed him to paint in all weathers. His landscape compositions are as delicately and economically composed as Japanese prints, which also often treat the motif of spring blossom. Here, the strong horizontals of the Cailhau landscape are offset by the wavering lozenge of the trees and their shadow. The sense, as so often in Laugé’s work, is of striding across a vast, airy expanse with the comfort of human habitation, the red roofs of Cailhau, just catching the eye at the far right.
Influenced by Seurat, Laugé composed his pictures with a modified Pointillist technique from 1888 to the mid-1890s. Thereafter he employed careful, cross-hatched brushstrokes. By 1905 he was applying pigments with a greater expressive freedom, using enlarged strokes and a thick impasto that brought him closer to traditional Impressionism. Alentours de Cailhau displays Laugé’s exquisite ability to vary the touch of his brush to evoke the different textures of objects in nature and how
To be included in the forthcoming catalogue raisonné of the work of Achille Laugé being prepared by Nicole Tamburini
HENRY MORET Cherbourg 1856 – 1913 Paris
Baie de Trouville, Cotentin
Signed lower right: Henry Moret; titled on the stretcher Canvas: 21 ¼ x 28 ¾ in / 54 x 73 cm Frame size: 30 x 37 in / 76.2 x 94 cm In a Louis XIV style carved and gilded frame Painted circa 1910 PROVENANCE:
Private collection, France To be included in the forthcoming catalogue raisonné of the work of Henry Moret being prepared by M. Jean-Yves Rolland
green to describe the rock formations and the shifting colours of the Atlantic. Pure touches of colour are applied fluidly, rapidly and with the rich impasto which gives such energy to his late work. This fluency of handling is the result of three decades of observation and love of the sea. The yachts and the lonely cottage are typical motifs of Moret. His landlord and friend Monsieur Tonnerre described the painter as ‘An indefatigable fishermen and huntsman, a real seadog, a first-rate shot, and yet the kindest, gentlest, most generous, the best of men’1. The critic Henry Eon paid tribute to his power as a marine painter: ‘The whole work of Henry Moret was a symphony vibrating with incomparable frankness: it was the symphony of the Sea’2.
Although best known for his paintings of Brittany, Henry Moret here depicts the rugged coastline of his native Normandy: the Baie de Trouville and the Cotentin peninsula, at the end of which lies Cherbourg, the town of his birth. Jean-Yves Rolland dates this painting circa 1910. Moret’s last visit to the region was in 1912, the last summer of his life. Moret’s earlier work was influenced by Gauguin, whom he met in Pont-Aven in 1888. Later he developed his own personal, powerful style which fused elements of Gauguin’s Syntheticism – the power of colour to evoke emotion – with the more naturalistic approach to space and light of the Impressionists. Baie de Trouville is painted in a high key with Moret’s favourite juxtapositions of pink and green, blue and
1 Quoted in Judy Le Paul, Gauguin and the Impressionists at Pont-Aven, New York 1983, p.208. 2 Ibid., p.206.
HENRI MARTIN Toulouse 1860 – 1943 Labastide-du-Vert
La tonelle de l’angle nord-ouest du parc de Marquayrol
Signed lower right: Henri Martin. Canvas : 32 ⅝ x 41 ¾ in / 82.9 x 106 cm Frame size: 40 x 49 in / 101.6 x 124.4 cm In its original Louis XIV gilded composition frame PROVENANCE:
Private collection, France Cyrille Martin has confirmed the authenticity of this painting, which he dates circa 1910
In 1900 Henri Martin bought the Manoir de Marquayrol near Labastide-du-Vert, between Cahors and Villeneuve-sur-Lot. Until the end of his days the old house at Marquayrol, the wooded hills of Lot and the medieval village of Labastide were his chief inspiration and the focus of a tranquil, happy family life. Like Monet, Henri Martin developed his garden over the decades that he spent at Marquayrol. The present painting depicts the arbour at the north-west corner of the garden, not far from his studio and the pergola where his wife and her friends from the village would often sit sewing. The season is late summer: Martin revels in the brilliant contrasts of the creeper, with red leaves adjacent to green, the purple of the flowers in the foreground, the sun-warmed stone and the distant, wooded landscape with the leaves turning. By circa 1910, when this painting was made, Martin had moved beyond his Pointillist phase to his own highly individual, expressive use of broken touches of paint to evoke a land shimmering with warmth and colour. As so often with Martin, the exuberance of nature is balanced by the architectural structures of Martin’s formal garden, an echo of the Renaissance gardens that Martin had enjoying during his studies in Italy in the 1880s. The soft oval of the foreground flower bed is balanced by the crisp verticals of the pergola ; the undulating line of the hills is held in check by the more structured horizontal of the garden wall. The tension between the classical and the romantic is an important element in Martin’s art. At Marquayrol, Martin created his own harmonious paradise. Claude Juskiewenski has written of him: ‘En découvrant Marquayrol, Henri Martin a trouvé son équilibre, son épanouissement personnel et artistique’1. The house today is owned by Martin’s great-granddaughter, Taïga Martin.
1 Cahors, Musée Henri Martin/Toulouse Capitole, Henri Martin 1860-1943, p.103.
Henri Martin, The Pergola at Marquayrol. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
ALBERT-CHARLES LEBOURG Montfort-sur-Risle, Eure 1849 – Rouen 1928
La Marne au Parc-Saint-Maur
Signed and dated lower left: A Lebourg 1912 Canvas: 26 ⅛ x 47 ⅜ in / 66.2 x 120.5 cm Frame size: 35 x 56 in / 88.9 x 142.2 cm In its original Louis XV style gilded composition frame PROVENANCE:
Acquired in 1918 by Jacques Foussier, patron of Lebourg; by descent EXHIBITED:
Paris, Galerie Georges Petit, Exposition Albert Lebourg, tableaux, aquarelles et dessins, January 1918, p.16, no.68 LITER ATURE:
Léonce Bénédite, Albert Lebourg, Paris 1923, p.337, no.863, illus. p.231 This painting will be included in the catalogue raisonné of the work of Albert Lebourg being prepared by Rodolphe Walter under the direction of l’Institut Wildenstein
Inspired by the Normandy countryside in which he grew up, Albert Lebourg became a lifelong painter of landscape, particularly of the waterways of France such as the Seine and the Marne. Although influenced by the Impressionists and friendly with Monet, Degas and Sisley, he forged his own individual style in which a shimmering surface of fluid brushwork is underpinned by a strong, perfectly balanced composition based around complementary colours. In La Marne au Parc-Saint-Maur, a radiant triangle of sky is balanced by its reflection in the river, giving the composition airiness and depth. The vertical band of pale apricot sunset is counterbalanced by the strong, yet delicate, horizontal of the suspension bridge and the river below it. The trees that line the river in the lengthening shadows of the summer evening are expressed in touches of emerald green, even turquoise. They provide blocks of cool colours which flank the warmth of the central band. Although in his earlier work Lebourg built up his landscapes by placing brushstrokes of different hues side by side, by 1912, when this picture was painted, he feathered several colours in the same loaded brushstroke. Areas of the painting which read from a distance as predominantly blue-green, for example the trees to the right or the reflections around the boat to the left, are on closer view composed of dabs of many tones. The shimmering surface evokes the constantly shifting qualities of river light and also casts a poetic dreaminess over the whole. The people in the boats, who are so crucial in anchoring the composition, are conveyed in an almost abstract flurry of impasto. Like Monet, Lebourg often studied the same motif under different lighting effects; another painting of La Marne au Parc-Saint-Maur (formerly with Richard Green; private collection, UK) takes as its keynote tones of violet rather than the emerald and pale apricot which predominates in the present work. Saint-Maur-des-Fossés is located on a loop of the Marne about seven miles south-east of central Paris, easily reached even in Lebourg’s day by railway. Victor Hugo lived there and wrote about Saint-Maur in his
1865 poem La Lavandière (The Washerwoman). The site of a medieval abbey dedicated to Saint Maurus, who was reputed to heal gout and epilepsy, Saint-Maur became one of the most famous pilgrimage centres in France. The abbey was secularized in the sixteenth century and the château built on its land was owned by Catherine de’Medici and later by the Condé family. Little of this building survives today, but Saint-Maur with its leafy islands is still a haven of peace on the edge of the Paris suburbs. Jacques Foussier, who acquired La Marne au Parc-Saint-Maur from Lebourg’s one-man show at Galerie Georges Petit in 1918, owned four other works by Lebourg bought at the same exhibition (Bénédite no.193, 339, 1483, 1494).
Albert Lebourg, La Marne au Parc-Saint-Maur. Private collection, UK.
PIERRE BONNARD Fontenay-aux-Roses 1867 – 1947 Cannet, Alpes-Maritimes
Maison rose au treillage, Le Grand-Lemps
Stamped with the signature lower right: Bonnard Canvas: 17 x 22 ⅞ in / 43.2 x 58.1 cm Frame size: 25 x 31 in / 63.5 x 78.7 cm In a Louis XV style carved and gilded swept frame Painted circa 1915 PROVENANCE:
The artist’s estate Private collection, USA, by 1966 Rincón de Arte, Caracas; acquired from the above by M and Mme François in 1967 EXHIBITED:
London, Royal Academy of Art, Pierre Bonnard, January-March 1966, no.149 Oslo, Kunstnerforbundet, Pierre Bonnard, March-April 1966, no.18 Jean and Henry Dauberville, Bonnard: Catalogue raisonné de l’oeuvre peint, vol. II, 1906-1919, Paris 1968, p.368, no.848, illus.
The son of a high official in the War Ministry, Pierre Bonnard spent childhood summers at his grandfather’s house, Le Clos, in the village of Le Grand-Lemps in the Dauphiné region of south-east France. As an adult, he returned to Le Clos almost every autumn, with the homing instinct of every Frenchman for his native soil. The tranquil life of his extended family was chronicled in intimiste paintings such as Lunch at Le Grand-Lemps, 1899 (Szépművészeti Múzeum, Budapest) and photographs of his young nephews playing in the ten-acre garden. After 1900, Bonnard’s focus moved from small, windowless interior scenes where his family sew, eat and read, to an exploration of the lush, light-filled landscape around Le Clos. In his mature work, Bonnard developed as an extraordinary colourist. As he explained to an interviewer in 1937: ‘I decided to pick up the research of the Impressionists and try to take it further, [I] wanted to outshine them in their naturalistic impressions of colour....There is a lot more to be got out of colour as a means of expression’1. Maison rose au treillage, Le Grand-Lemps demonstrates the luminous tapestry of colour by which Bonnard conveys his vision of Le GrandLemps as an earthly paradise. The pink-terrcotta house is embowered in vegetation. The swirls and dabs of paint, expressing the fecundity of nature, both simmer on the picture surface and create recession: the blues of the trellis and of the sky pull the eye into the distance. Shadows are complex skeins of purple and blue; an intense patch of light is created by touches of white flowers floating in a sea of yellowgreen foliage. Bonnard was a master of unusual viewpoints, derived from his study of Japanese prints. Here, typically, the house is set not in the centre but to the far left of the canvas, allowing us the slow pleasure of scanning the eddies and rivulets of colour in the garden, before meeting the mellow pink walls. The painting hovers between representation and abstraction, a feast of colour for the eyes.
1 Quoted in Nicholas Watkins, Bonnard, London 1994, p.61.
ALBERT MARQUET Bordeaux 1875 – 1947 Paris
Signed lower right: marquet Canvas: 25 ½ x 31 ⅛ in / 64.8 x 79.1 cm Frame size: 34 ½ x 41 in / 87.6 x 104.1 cm In an antique Louis XV gilded pastel frame Painted circa 1916-18 PROVENANCE
The Collection of Daniel Carasso (1905-2009) To be included in the forthcoming catalogue raisonné of the work of Albert Marquet currently being prepared by Jean-Claude Martinet and Guy Wildenstein under the sponsorship of the Fondation Wildenstein
Just before the beginning of the First World War in 1914, Albert Marquet sent a postcard to Manguin showing himself, Matisse and Camoin on horseback, with the caption: ‘nous venons de former un escadron pour défendre la France. Je pense que tu ne vas pas hésiter une minute pour te joindre et que nous serons les premiers pour entrer à Berlin’1. The artists offered their services for the duration to the Socialist deputy Marcel Sembat. His response was ‘Peindre. Personne dans ce domaine ne peut vous remplacer’2.
in the Musée de Grenoble has sharper shadows and the sky reflected in the waters of the port is a thundery violet-blue. This painting was part of the fine collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist works amassed by Daniel Carasso (1905– 2009), Chairman of Groupe Danone, who built the pioneering yoghurt and dairy food manufacturer into a global brand.
Marquet spent most of the War in Marseille, revelling in the hot colours of the South as Cézanne, Renoir and Matisse had done before him. From 1916 to 1918 he made many trips to L’Estaque, a fishing port north-west of the city which in the nineteenth century had burgeoned into a favourite bathing place for middle-class Marseillaises. He set up his studio at the Hôtel de la Falaise, which commanded the sweep of the bay. The present view is taken from the fishing port, looking across the church and old town towards the limestone cliffs of the Nerthe which rise dramatically behind L’Estaque. Characteristically, Marquet distils the elements of the scene into a few bold motifs which enhance, rather than diminish, the effect of the radiance of the Provençal light. The verticals of the church tower and the only masted fishing boat hold in tension the horizontals of the shore line and cliffs. Marquet uses his own subtle, highly idiosyncratic palette to evoke the town basking in the sun: terracotta, moss green, eau-de-nil, sandy beige and grey-black outlines. As so often with Marquet, the scene is calm and human activity is restricted to a few figures in the middle distance, rapidly expressed as a line of black flecks. The reflection of the town in the waters of the harbour is just a little more intense in colour, a little more freely painted than the image it mirrors. Marquet uses colour to create a unique response to a particular time of day and climatic conditions. He often painted the same motif several times, but the feel of each painting is completely different. A view of L’Estaque from a similar angle
1 ‘We are going to form a squadron to defend France. I think that you will not hesitate for a minute to join us and we will be the first to enter Berlin’. Quoted in Paris, Musée National de la Marine, Albert Marquet: itineraries maritimes, 2008, exh. cat. by Véronique Alemany et. al., p.104. 2 ‘Paint. No-one in that field would be able to replace you’. Ibid., p.104.
HENRI LE SIDANER Port-Louis 1862 – 1939 Versailles
La table, soleil dans les feuilles, Gerberoy
Signed lower right: LE SIDANER Canvas: 25 ⅞ x 32 ⅛ in / 66 x 81.5 cm Frame size: 35 x 41 in / 88.9 x 104 cm In an antique Louis XIV carved and gilded frame Painted in 1917 PROVENANCE:
Galerie Georges Petit, Paris, inv. no.2613 Private collection, France Richard Green, London, 2006 Private collection, USA LITER ATURE:
Yann Farinaux-Le Sidaner, Le Sidaner: l’Oeuvre Peint et Gravé, Paris 1989, p.152, no.374, illus.
In 1904 Henri Le Sidaner discovered the historic fortress town of Gerberoy, situated sixty-five miles northwest of Paris. He initially rented, then purchased, a small cottage in the centre of the town in order to escape from the pressures of Parisian life. During the following years he undertook extensive renovation and development of the property, taking a personal interest in every aspect of the design of the buildings and the gardens. La table à Gerberoy combines two of Le Sidaner’s favourite motifs, a table still life and the gardens of his beloved home. Situated on the shaded terrace of the main house, the table is simply adorned with a white table cloth; wine, fruit and a teapot await an unknown guest. Le Sidaner’s subtle use of colour expertly conjures up the atmosphere of a late summer afternoon; bright flashes of yellow create a sun-dappled effect against a background of turquoise dotted with pink and blue. ‘He is a pointillist, but not the kind who decomposes tones and applies them unmixed, thereby letting our eyes reconstitute the colours on our retina. His palette is extremely varied and subtle. The oils bind and melt together in highly delicate harmonies. Nor is he the kind to enclose forms within a heavy brushstroke, as is the practice among the younger school of painters. With him, the contours seem to emerge from the interplay of light, and in this respect, he is similar to Claude Monet’ (Jacques Baschet, 1924, quoted in Yann Farineau-Le Sidaner, Le Sidaner, p.37).
The table in the sun in the garden, Gerberoy. Musée des Beaux-Arts, Nantes.
PIERRE BONNARD Fontenay-aux-Roses 1867 – 1947 Cannet, Alpes-Maritimes
Le corsage rayé
Signed lower right: Bonnard Canvas: 25 ¼ x 18 in / 64 x 46 cm Frame size: 33½ x 26 in / 85 x 66 cm In an antique Louis XIII carved and gilded frame Painted circa 1922 PROVENANCE:
Paul Rosenberg, Paris Léon Delaroche, Paris, 10th May 1938, then by descent Private collection, Europe, 1998 EXHIBITED:
London, Richard Green, Visions of Impressionism, 2007, no.24, illus. in colour LITER ATURE:
Jean and Henry Dauberville, Bonnard, Catalogue raisonné de l’oeuvre peint, Paris 1973, vol. III, p.140, no. 1153, illus.
Perhaps best known for his intimate interiors, Pierre Bonnard had begun painting private domestic scenes as early as 1889 and throughout his career he continued to record scenes from his intimate world, frequently inspired by his companion and muse Marthe de Méligny. In these works he endeavoured ‘to draw the spectator into a painting on a contemplative journey, in which familiar objects are encountered as though for the first time, forming unexpected relationships and assuming new meanings’ (Nicholas Watkins, Bonnard, p.52). By the 1920s Bonnard’s palette had developed from dark, earthy tones to a brighter, more vibrant combination of reds, blues and whites. The flat planes of colour seen in his earlier works are replaced by a more varied, dappled application of paint which served to create depth and intensity. Le corsage rayé is an expression of Bonnard’s love of colour. The background and white tablecloth are described by a subtle, carefully blended variety of pastel tones including azure, ochre, violet and teal green, which creates a powerful contrast with the intense scarlet of Marthe’s brightly-lit striped blouse. For Bonnard, ‘light, in combination with colour, became a key factor in the organization of a painting. Objects are broken up by light in patterns of colour across the surface, and the dialogue between object and colour, colour and pattern, pattern surface, surface and pictorial depth becomes part of the content of the painting’ (op cit., p.171). Bonnard met his lifelong companion, the beautiful Marie Boursin, in 1893. He encountered her on the boulevard Haussmann in Paris when she introduced herself as sixteen-year-old Marthe de Méligny, the daughter of aristocratic Italian parents. It was not until after their marriage some thirty years later that Bonnard discovered her real identity; in truth she was a farmer’s daughter from the Midi and had been twenty-four at their first meeting. Described as ‘voluptuous’ and ‘almost risqué’, Marthe became central to Bonnard’s work, appearing in one hundred and fifty paintings and over seven hundred sketches.
In Le corsage rayé Marthe is seated at a table in a pensive, reserved mood; her face is turned away from the viewer, her eyes avoiding direct contact. Although Bonnard depicted her throughout her life in the most intimate situations, Marthe was known to be shy and reserved. Antoine Terrasse, the artist’s great-nephew, recalled that she would carry an umbrella to shield herself from attention when out in public. The intimate nature of this painting is intensified by the fact that during this period Marthe was aware that Bonnard was engaged in a rather public affair with Renée Monchaty. Crushed by her partner’s infidelity, she further withdrew from public life. This contemplative pose, in which she appears immersed in her own thoughts, creates a deeply personal and private painting. The striped red blouse that Marthe is wearing in Le corsage rayé appears in a number of works from the 1920s, including Reine Natanson et Marthe Bonnard au corsage rouge (Dauberville no.1403; Musée National d’Art Moderne, Paris), Femme tenant un chien (Dauberville no.1156; the Phillips Collection, Washington, DC) and Le corsage rouge (Dauberville no.1319; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris).
Portrait of Madame Reine Natanson and Marthe Bonnard, 1928. Musée National d’Art Moderne, Paris.
ALBERT MARQUET Bordeaux 1875 – 1947 Paris
Toulon, Cap Brun
Signed lower right: Marquet Oil on board: 13 x 16 ⅛ in / 33 x 41 cm Frame size: 20 x 23 in / 50.8 x 58.4 cm In a Louis XV style pastel frame Painted in the summer of 1938 PROVENANCE:
The artist’s wife Mme Albert Marquet, Paris Private collection, Europe EXHIBITED:
Charleroi, Palais des Beaux-Arts, Rétrospective Albert Marquet, 1981, no.35 (erroneously catalogued as on canvas) Paris, Artcuriel, Albert Marquet, 1981 New York and London, Wildenstein & Co., Albert Marquet, 1985, illus. Lausanne, Fondation de l’Hermitage, Albert Marquet 1875-1947, 1988, no.49, illus. New York, Wildenstein, Albert Marquet : Paintings, 1998 To be included in the forthcoming catalogue raisonné of the work of Albert Marquet being prepared by Jean-Claude Martinet and Guy Wildenstein under the sponsorship of the Fondation Wildenstein
Albert Marquet was a painter par excellence of riverscapes and coastal scenes. Based in Paris, he travelled widely, capturing both the dazzling light of the Mediterranean and North Africa and the cool, subtle hues of northern France. During the summer of 1938, Marquet accepted an invitation to visit Cap Brun, to the east of Toulon in the Var region of the South of France. He was so charmed by the beauty of the area that he returned the next year, staying this time on the Island of Porquerolles. Marquet visited Toulon for the first time in 1913. Having contacted the Minister of the Navy, Marquet was granted permission to study naval exercises on board the Admiralâ€™s ship the Vergniaud. He also made drawings of the port of Toulon. He was awarded the title of Official Naval Painter, the only distinction that he accepted. Though Marquet also painted views overlooking the busy harbour of Toulon, the present panoramic view, looking down from Cap Brun, shows the radiantly serene Mediterranean with only one boat sailing out to sea and Saint-Mandrier-sur-Mer on the horizon. The vibrant terracotta buildings and the broadly-described green trees contrast powerfully with the bleached blues of the sea and sky, creating a credible sense of plunging perspective.
Albert Marquet, The Port de Bougie, Algiers in sunlight, 1925. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
HERMANN MAX PECHSTEIN Eckersbach 1881 – 1955 West Berlin
Fischkutter in der nachmittagssonne
Signed lower left: HMPechstein; signed and inscribed on the reverse: XIII Fischkutter in der Nachmittagssonne / HMPechstein Canvas: 31 ½ x 39 ¼ in / 80.1 x 99.8 cm Frame size: 39 ¾ x 47 ½ in / 101 x 120.6 cm In an Italian cassetta style frame Painted in 1921 PROVENANCE:
Carl Steinbart (1852-1923), Berlin, by whom acquired directly from the artist circa 1921; Dora Stach, née Steinbart (1891-1979), Berlin/Amsterdam; by descent in a European private collection LITER ATURE:
Entry in Max Pechstein’s notebook for the year 1921: ‘XIII. Fischkutter in Nachmittagssonne’ Catalogue raisonné number (forthcoming, summer 2011): Soika 1921/5 To be included in the forthcoming catalogue raisonné of Max Pechstein’s oils by Dr Aya Soika, commissioned by the Pechstein Estate, as no.1921/5 (Aya Soika, Max Pechstein. Das Werkverzeichnis der Ölgemälde. Edited by the Max Pechstein Estate. Munich 2011, 2 volumes)
The painting is oil on canvas and measures 31 ½ x 39 ¼ in / 80 x 100 cm, a frequently used format by Pechstein in the early 1920s. The work is signed HMPechstein (for Hermann Max Pechstein) in the lower left corner on the front of the canvas. The signature is characteristic for the early 1920s when the artist tended to omit the date. The back of the canvas is inscribed, numbered and signed by the artist himself in black brush, providing the painting’s title “Fischkutter in Nachmittagssonne” together with a number in Roman letters, “XIII”. This number refers to Pechstein’s annual records (unfortunately not at all complete) of his artistic output in his notebook. The exact title and number can be found in Pechstein’s notebook entry for the year 1921, which lists his paintings of that year.
The painting Fischkutter in der nachmittagssonne by the German Expressionist painter Max Pechstein (1881-1955) was created in 1921. At this time Pechstein was one of the most prominent modern artists in Germany, celebrated by way of a number of solo-exhibitions including a show in the Berlin National Gallery, in its modern branch in the Kronprinzenpalais, in December 1921. The show in the National Gallery featured forty works created mostly during his summer stay in 1921, almost exclusively landscape. Fishing boats in the afternoon sun may well have been among them. As evident from the glowing press reviews of this show – and others of this time - Pechstein was praised primarily as a landscape painter. Landscape was certainly an essential theme of Max Pechstein’s work throughout his artistic career. And this is particularly true of the year 1921, when most of his works are related to his extensive summer stay on the Baltic Sea, from the beginning of May until mid-October. The work Fischkutter in der nachmittagssonne was created during or shortly after Pechstein’s first stay in Leba in Eastern Pomerania (now Łeba, Poland). The small fishing village of Leba was located on a thin stretch of land, between the Baltic Sea and a big lake, the Lebasee. It featured a small harbour and was surrounded by huge sand dunes. No wonder that it became a popular bathing resort in the course of the 1920s. In 1921 it was still relatively unknown as a tourist destination. In numerous letters from Leba, Max Pechstein in this first summer eulogized about the beauty of his new retreat and the stimulation he received there for his work. This painting depicts the fishing boats lined up along the canal in the port of Leba. Historical photographs on postcards allow us to compare Pechstein’s depiction with the real appearance of the harbour at around this time. What is lacking in these photographs, of course, is colour and artistic imagination. Pechstein took some joy in exaggerating the colour contrasts in his work, reminiscent of the earlier Expressionist phase in his art. In this painting, he used bright tones of blue and yellow, red and green, juxtaposed with the help of some dark contours which heighten the sense of flatness. The four sailing boats, strongly
simplified in their forms, are the centre of the composition. The upper part of the work – dominated by the brightly coloured blue sky - is structured through the masts of the boat, as is the lower part. Here the sky-blue water reflects the four masts. What is rendered is the sensation of a summer afternoon. Pechstein had been fascinated by boats ever since his first trip to the Baltic in 1909. When discovering the fishing village of Leba in 1921, he was particularly delighted with its harbour, which became one of his main sources of inspiration, and not just that summer. There are photographs from the 1930s showing him at work, sketching the boats in the port of Leba. In fact, Pechstein returned to Leba almost every summer throughout the next two and a half decades, until the end of the Second World War. This attachment to Leba was also caused, no doubt, by Marta Moeller, whose parents ran the main guest house in Leba. Pechstein fell in love with her in summer 1921 and married her in September 1923. Dr Aya Soika
KEES VAN DONGEN Delfshaven 1877 – 1968 Monaco
La femme au foulard
Signed lower right: van Dongen; Oil on canvas 31 ⅛ x 29 in / 92.5 x 73.5 cm Frame size: 45 ½ x 38 ¼ in / 115.6 x 97.2 cm In an antique Louis XIV carved and gilded frame Painted circa 1921 PROVENANCE:
Jean Dauberville, Paris Private collection, Paris, then by descent EXHIBITED:
Paris, Galerie Charpentier, Cent portraits de femme, March 1950, no.190 Paris, Galerie Bernheim-Jeune, Cent ans de portraits 1860-1960, May-July 1962, no.56 Lyon, Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon; Charleroi, Musée des Beaux-Arts and Rotterdam, Boijmans van Beuningen Museum, Van Dongen, June to October 1964, no.34
away from the kohl-eyed demi-mondaines of his Fauve period to portray more elegant women. He was at the height of his fame as a society portraitist, rubbing shoulders with the beau monde at Deauville and the Côte d’Azur. Van Dongen declared of this period: ‘J’aime passionément la vie de mon époque, si animée, si fiévreuse….Ah! La vie est plus belle que la peinture’1. Van Dongen also modified his palette in the 1920s from the lurid, cabaret-limelight effects of the previous decades towards a joyous, outdoor radiance. In La femme au foulard, shimmering tones of blue and green are offset by the coral red embroidery on the model’s collar and her rose-pink skin. Her tapering fingers, parted lips and intense blue, feline gaze add to the effect of sensuous calm, while water, sky and white sails are bathed in brilliant coastal light.
To be included in the forthcoming catalogue raisonné of the work of Kees van Dongen currently being prepared by M. Jacques Chalom des Cordes under the sponsorship of the Wildenstein Institute This striking painting combines two of Kees van Dongen’s favourite themes, beautiful women and yachts. In the 1920s van Dongen turned
1 Quoted in Tucson, AZ, University of Arizona Art Museum, Van Dongen, exh. cat. by WE Steadman and D Sutton, 1971, p.46
RAOUL DUFY Le Havre 1877 – 1953 Forqalquier
Régates au Havre
Signed lower right: Raoul Dufy Oil on canvas: 13 x 16 in / 33 x 40.6 cm Frame size: 20 x 23 in / 50.8 x 58.4 cm In a Louis XV style carved and gilded pastel frame
Dufy painted in the mid-1920s, all characterized by an exploration of the intense purple-blue light of the coast and the dreamlike movement of the yachts in space. The shifting light is rendered all the more vibrant by Dufy’s technique of describing the waves in tightly-packed, triangular touches of paint.
Painted circa 1925 LITER ATURE:
Maurice Laffaille, Raoul Dufy: catalogue raisonné de l’oeuvre peint, vol. II, Geneva 1973, p.212, no.667, illus. PROVENANCE:
Private collection, France Hôtel Drouot, Paris, 11th December 1968 Private collection, France His art revolutionized by the Fauves in 1905, Raoul Dufy captured the joie de vivre of France between the Wars in paintings of wit and colouristic brilliance. He grew up in the Normandy port of Le Havre; seaside views and regattas were important themes in his oeuvre from as early as 1907. Dufy remarked: ‘Unhappy the man who lives in a climate far from the sea, or unfed by the sparkling waters of a river! … The painter constantly needs to be able to see a certain quality of light, a flickering, an airy palpitation bathing what he sees’1. The present work is one of a group of yachting scenes at Le Havre that
Régates au Havre reflects Dufy’s experiments with his theory of couleurlumière, where ‘the value of one tone in relation to another and their equivalent in light are more important to him than true colour’. He declared: ‘The colour captures the light that forms and animates the group as a whole. Every object or group of objects is placed within its own area of light and shade, receiving its share of reflections and being subjected to the arrangement decided by the artist’2. By eschewing naturalistic colouring, Dufy makes our experience of nature all the more vivid. His paintings are ‘suffused with the purest of poetic sensibilities, energized by a master draughtsman, and orchestrated by a great colourist’3.
La revue navale au Havre, c.1925. Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris.
1 Quoted in Dora Perez-Tibi, Dufy, London 1989, p.158. 2 Perez-Tibi, op. cit., p.150. 3 Bryan Robertson, ‘An introduction to Dufy’ in exh. cat. London, Hayward Gallery, Raoul Dufy 1877-1953, 1983-4, p.43.
RAOUL DUFY Le Havre 1877 – 1953 Forqalquier
Le bassin de Deauville
Signed and dated lower left: Raoul Dufy 1938 Canvas: 13 x 32 ¼ in / 33 x 81.9 cm Frame size: 20½ x 40 in / 52.1 x 101.6 cm In its original gilded cassetta frame LITER ATURE:
Maurice Laffaille, Raoul Dufy: catalogue raisonné de l’oeuvre peint, vol. II, Geneva 1973, p.212, no.667, illus. PROVENANCE:
Collection of Dr Maurice Girardin (1884-1951), Paris; by inheritance
Raoul Dufy exulted in the theme of pleasure sailing all his life. Most of his subjects – horse racing, dancing, concert-going, sea bathing – celebrate the joy of existence. The sea was a constant background to his childhood in Le Havre and its shifting, ambiguous quality was an ideal metaphor for his way of forming a picture. In Le bassin de Deauville the delight lies in the play between flatness and recession, patterns on the picture surface and ‘realistic’ space. The yachts, created with a seemingly childlike naivety with a few strokes of the brush, are in fact placed with perfect poise so that they evoke both panorama and depth. Dufy grounds the whole composition in blue, his favourite colour. ‘In an interview given at the end of his life, [Dufy] stated that blue was the only colour that retains its distinctiveness, whatever its degree; that it never changes, whatever the shade or variation’1.
Paris, which today are kept in the Palais de Tokyo. Dufy’s Le bassin de Deauville has descended in Dr Girardin’s family.
The freedom of the yachts, which float about our field of vision, is contrasted with the monumental buildings of the port behind, crisply defined in a network of black lines. The stubby, grubby steamship at the left, a typically witty touch, also serves to underline the grace of the sailing ships. Le bassin de Deauville was made in 1938, when Dufy had refined his style to a point where he could convey its essence with the chicest, most economical of means. By this time he was internationally celebrated, with shows in London, Basle, New York and Chicago that year. In 1937 he had had great success with his vast painting La fée électricité, exhibited at the Exposition Internationale in Paris. Despite its immense size, it was described by New York Herald Tribune critic John Ashbery as achieving ‘a truly Mozartian lightness’2. One might say the same of the present Le bassin de Deauville. This painting was formerly owned by Dr Maurice Girardin (18841951), a dentist by profession who purchased his first work – a Signac view of Venice – in 1914. Girardin amassed a large collection of contemporary paintings from artists who frequently became friends, including Georges Rouault, Marcel Gromaire, Raoul Dufy, Vlaminck, Utrillo, Lipchitz and Zadkine. In 1920 he founded Galerie La Licorne at 110 Rue de La Boétie, promoting the work of young talents. Girardin bequeathed over six hundred works to the Ville de
1 Charles Sala, ‘Raoul et Jean Dufy’ in exh. cat. Paris, Musée Marmottan Monet, Raoul et Jean Dufy: Complicité et Rupture, 2011, p.84. 2 Quoted in ibid. p.180.
FERNAND LÉGER Argentan 1881 – 1955 Gif-sur-Yvette
Nature morte sur fond jaune
Signed and dated lower right: F.LEGER / 39; titled, signed and dated on the reverse Canvas: 36 ¼ x 25 ⅝ in / 92.1 x 65.1 cm Frame size: 46 x 35 in / 116.8 x 88.9 cm In a Tuscan cassetta style black and gilded frame PROVENANCE:
Galerie Louis Carré, Paris, 1945 Knoedler Gallery, New York The Collection of Daniel Carasso (1905-2009) EXHIBITED:
Paris, Galerie Louis Carré, Fernand Léger, peintures antérieures à 1940, 1945, illus. p.51 Rotterdam, Museum Boymans, Vier Eeuwen Stilleven in Frankrijk, 10th July-20th September 1954, no.166 Paris, Pavillon de Marsan, Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Fernand Léger 1881-1955, June-October 1956, no.99, illus. p.269 Zurich, Kunsthaus, Fernand Léger, 6th July-17th August 1957, no.98 LITER ATURE:
Georges Bauquier, Fernand Léger, Catalogue raisonné de l’Oeuvre peint 1938-1943 (vol. VI), Paris 1998, pp.104-5, no.1040, illus. in colour
Fernand Léger moved from a Cubistic phase in the 1920s to a more realistic exploration of forms in the 1930s, in keeping with his leftwing political ideology that art should be accessible to the common man. These paintings were characterized by strong, black contours and pure, local colours. Nature morte sur fond jaune is one of a series of playful still lifes painted in the late 1930s and early 1940s in which Léger explored forms and volumes that are both static and twisting in space. Nominally, he is depicting a red-brown jug, fruit and other objects on a tabletop. However, plant-like tendrils and fruit float free, while the whole composition, pushed forward by assertive reds and blues, hovers above the yellow background. The curvaceous outlines of the organic forms are balanced by strong geometric elements such as the horizontal band on the jug and the table top. The surreal aura given to this assemblage of everyday objects is influenced by Léger’s interest in the work of the Surrealist poet Paul Eluard (1895-1952): one of his still lifes from 1938 is entitled L’Araignée bleue: poême de Paul Eluard (private collection, Switzerland)1. Léger further explored the idea of forms moving in space in his largescale series of Plongeurs, begun in Marseille in 1940 and continued in his Wartime exile in America.
1 Bauquier op.cit., p.6, no.972.
ALBERT ANDRÉ 1869 Lyon – Laudun 1954
Albert André was born in Lyon in 1869 and spent childhood holidays in Laudun in Langedoc, where his family owned vineyards. After studying in Lyon, he worked for a time in that city designing for its important silk fabric industry. André attended the Académie Julian in 1890, where he met and was influenced by the Post-Impressionism of Valtat, Maurice Denis and Bonnard. Renoir saw André’s paintings at the Salon des Indépendents in 1894 and encouraged the influential dealer Paul Durand-Ruel to buy them. From 1895 to 1901 André showed at the Salon des Cents, the Salon des Indépendents and the Exposition d’Art Nouveau. In 1904 he was invited by Signac to show at the Salon d’Automne and had a one-man show at Durand-Ruel. André painted Paris scenes, intimiste interior and garden scenes, and still lifes of restrained beauty that recall the work of his friend Cézanne. The landscape around Laudun was an especial inspiration. André’s work was exhibited in New York in 1912 and the following year he was invited to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the Libre Esthétique in Brussels, on the theme of life in southern France. In 1917, encouraged by Renoir, André returned to Laudun to take charge of the museum of Bagnols-sur-Céze, where he remained curator until his death. In 1918 he wrote a monograph on Renoir, the only one written by a Frenchman in Renoir’s lifetime, and took charge of Renoir’s estate after his death in 1919. In 1921 André organized a Renoir retrospective at Galerie Durand-Ruel. When fire damaged the museum at Bagnols-surCéze in 1923, his friends Bonnard, Durand-Ruel, Marquet, Signac and Valtat offered works for André’s ‘Museum of empty walls’. André died in Paris in 1954; the Salon d’Automne held a retrospective of his works the following year.
The work of Albert Andé is represented in the Musée d’Orsay, Paris; the Louvre, Paris; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Art Institute of Chicago; Philadelphia Museum of Art; the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC and the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, Madrid.
PIERRE BONNARD Fontenay-aux-Roses 1867 – 1947 Cannet, Alpes-Maritimes
Born in a Paris suburb in 1867, Pierre Bonnard was the son of a bureau chief in the Ministry of War who encouraged his son to pursue a classical education followed by a career as a barrister. In 1885 Bonnard enrolled in law school and received his degree in 1888. Throughout his law studies he attended art classes at the Académie Julian and was accepted at the Ecole des Beaux Arts. It was during this period that he met a remarkable group of young artists, including Paul Sérusier, Maurice Denis and Edouard Vuillard, who became lifelong friends. Bonnard soon developed a strong bond with Vuillard and readily joined the group of artists, led by Sérusier, who called themselved the Nabis (‘prophets’ in Hebrew), who were particularly influenced by Paul Gauguin and whose main aim was to develop the ideals of Impressionism. The group caused considerable outrage in Paris and during the Exposition Universelle in 1889 they controversially showed their work at the exhibition organised by Gauguin at the Café Volpini near the newly erected Eiffel Tower. By the age of twenty-two Bonnard was still a practising lawyer and by the end of 1889 became a licensed attorney. He soon became disillusioned by his daily routine in the Paris law courts and in 1891, after receiving one hundred francs from France-Champagne for a poster commission, Bonnard chose to give up law completely to concentrate on his artistic career. That same year he submitted his first entries to the Salon des Indépendants which were well received by the critics; he continued to be an active and committed member of the Nabis. Bonnard’s early works have a clear palette and bold execution which are clearly influenced by the Symbolist poetry of Mallarmé and the teachings of Gauguin and Sérusier. In 1893 Bonnard met his lifelong companion, the beautiful Marie Boursin, whom he encountered on the boulevard Haussmann in Paris when she introduced herself as sixteen-
year-old Marthe de Méligny, the daughter of aristocratic Italian parents. It was not until after their marriage some thirty years later that Bonnard discovered her real identity: she was a farmer’s daughter from the Midi and had been twenty-four at their first meeting. Described as ‘voluptuous’ and ‘almost risqué’, Marthe became central to Bonnard’s work, appearing in one hundred and fifty paintings and over seven hundred sketches. By 1900 Bonnard had been working with the Nabis for nearly a decade and felt that he needed more independence to develop his personal style. He began to travel extensively within France and abroad, visiting Belgium and Holland in 1907, Italy in 1910 and 1922, England, Spain, Algeria, Tunisia and America in 1926, widening his experience and expanding his horizons. In 1909 he joined Henri Matisse in a painting expedition to the South of France which had a remarkable effect on the future of his work. Seduced by the bright sunlight and bold colours of the Mediterranean, he discovered an overwhelming passion for colour which from this moment became of primary importance in his art. In 1912 Bonnard bought a house in Vernon in the Eure region, near Monet’s beloved Giverny, where he and Marthe lived most of the year, only escaping to the warmth of the Côte d’Azur in winter. Bonnard continued to paint sunlit interiors peopled by his family and friends and his works developed into intimate portrayals of his personal life. In 1931 he settled permanently in the villa at Le Cannet, which he had purchased in 1926. This became the subject of his glorious golden canvases and he continued to paint there until his death in 1947. The work of Pierre Bonnard is represented in the Musée d’Orsay, Paris; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the J Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; the Pushkin Museum, Moscow; the Hermitage, St Petersberg; Tate Modern and the National Gallery, London; the Kunsthaus, Zurich and Neue Pinakothek, Munich.
EUGÈNE BOUDIN Honfleur 1824 – 1898 Deauville
Eugène Boudin was one of the most important precursors of the Impressionists; his critical acclaim rests on an unrivalled reputation as a master of beach and coastal scenes. Born in Honfleur, Boudin was the son of a harbour pilot. In 1844, he opened a stationery and framing shop in Le Havre, where his clients included Thomas Couture, Eugène Isabey, Jean-François Millet and Constant Troyon. Although Boudin had no academic training, he spent much time drawing and the visiting painters greatly encouraged his innate artistic ability. In 1847 Boudin went to Paris and devoted his attention to studying and copying Old Masters in the Louvre. In 1851 he was awarded a three-year scholarship by the City of Le Havre. However, instead of pursuing indoor, academic studio work, Boudin was inspired by the idea of painting en plein air and made a number of painting trips to Le Havre, Honfleur and other coastal towns in northern France. He made his debut at the Salon in 1859, where his work was much admired by Charles Baudelaire and Gustave Courbet, and he was heralded by Corot as the ‘king of the skies’. Boudin became Monet’s first teacher, persuading him to paint out of doors, and in 1874 he was invited to participate in the first Impressionist exhibition. Boudin spent the rest of his career painting primarily around the coast of Le Havre, Honfleur and Trouville, inspired by the elegant society that flocked to the sparkling coastline. Whilst painting at Trouville he met the Dutch artist Johan Barthold Jongkind and, influenced by his boldness of technique, Boudin adopted freer brushwork and a brighter palette.
The exquisite sensibility of Boudin’s work was recognised by the dealer Durand-Ruel, who organised exhibitions of his pictures in 1883, 1889, 1890 and 1891; in 1892, Boudin was awarded the Légion d’Honneur. The work of Eugène Boudin is represented in The National Gallery of Art, Washington DC; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The National Gallery, London; Musée d’Orsay, Paris; Musée du Louvre, Paris and The Hermitage, St Petersburg.
JEAN-BAPTISTE-CAMILLE COROT Paris 1796 – 1875 Ville d’Avray
Born into a Parisian merchant’s family, Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot renounced his commercial heritage in order to pursue his vocation as a painter. Despite his family’s opposition, he received an allowance from his father that enabled him to study first with Michallon and then with Bertin, both neo-classical landscape painters.
dreamlike quality. In 1856 Corot wrote: ‘Beauty in art consists of a truthfulness in the impression we have received from an aspect of nature... the real is one part of art; the sentiment completes it’. It was the diaphanous, twilight effects of his paintings that epitomized such sentiment and greatly appealed to the prevalent neo-Rococo taste.
In 1825 Corot made his first visit to Italy, and during the three years he spent there he painted many of his most spontaneous plein air masterpieces, remarkable for their fidelity to nature, a classical concern with form and the precise observation of tonal values. In 1834 and 1843, he made two more visits to Italy, painting in Rome, Florence and Venice.
From the late 1840s, Corot became acquainted with the Barbizon painters, particularly Daubigny, Millet and Rousseau, with whom he painted and studied the new art of photography. His interest in naturalism and an unerring fidelity to his own personal vision earned him the esteem of many younger artists, including Harpignies, Lépine and Pissarro; it was they who named him with reverence Père Corot.
Corot also painted more academic and finished works which he considered more suitable for the Paris Salon, where he exhibited from 1827. He received a second class medal at the Salon in 1833 and was awarded the Légion d’Honneur in 1846. During the 1830s, Corot was influenced by Dutch seventeenth century artists, especially Jacob van Ruisdael. Apart from this Dutch phase, however, his paintings tended to convey a more idealised concept of nature, expressed in a Claudian vein, which often included literary, allegorical or mythological subjects. Corot travelled extensively throughout France, painting along the Channel coast and in Fontainebleau. His most cherished spot was at Ville d’Avray, where his parents had purchased a villa amidst a landscape that was of particular aesthetic appeal. He visited Holland in 1854 and England in 1862. Corot’s increasingly idealised concept of landscape resulted in the all-pervasive lyricism that characterised his late work. He entitled these paintings souvenirs, which were essentially nostalgic distillations of his visual experience, admired for their delicate,
HENRI-EDMOND CROSS Douai 1856 – 1910 Saint-Clair
Cross was born Henri-Edmond Delacroix, the child of an adventurer and failed businessman, Alcide Delacroix, and the English-born Fanny Woollett. He adopted the English version of his surname in 1881 to avoid working in the shadow of his famous namesake Eugène Delacroix. Cross studied with Alphonse Colas at the Ecoles Académiques de Dessin et d’Architecture in Lille from 1878-81 and in Paris with Emile Dupont-Zipcy in the early 1880s.
Politically, Cross sympathized with the Anarchists and in the 1890s contributed illustrations to Jean Grave’s Anarchist publication Temps nouveaux. Eye problems and arthritis curtailed his work in the last decade of his life, but he had important oneman shows at Galerie Druet in 1905 and Bernheim-Jeune in 1907, leading to greater recognition by both buyers and critics. Poised to reap the fruits of his success, he alas died at Saint-Clair on 16th May 1910.
In 1884 Cross helped to found the Societé des Artistes Indépendants and became friends with many of the Neo-Impressionists. From the mid-1880s he lightened his palette, began to paint en plein air and concentrated on landscapes. In 1891 he showed his first NeoImpressionist work at the Indépendants, a portrait of his future wife Mme HF (Musée d’Orsay, Paris). The same year he moved to the South of France, settling in Saint-Clair near St Tropez where he lived for the rest of his life; Signac moved there in 1892.
The work of Henri-Edmond Cross is represented in the Musée d’Orsay, Paris; the Hermitage, St Petersburg; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Art Institute of Chicago; the Kunstmuseum, Basel and the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, Madrid.
In the early and mid-1890s Cross painted seascapes and peasant scenes. Over a densely painted ground he placed round touches in rows and mixed colours with white to express the hot light of the Midi. The sinuous silhouettes of The farm, 1898 (private collection) reflect the influence of Art Nouveau and Japanese prints. In the mid-1890s, working with Signac, Cross adopted larger, block-like strokes to create a mosaic-like surface. This ‘second’ Neo-Impressionist style inspired Matisse and the other Fauves to visit the South of France at the beginning of the twentieth century. Cross’s late seascapes introduced nymphs and fauns, mythological figures that haunted the Classical South.
KEES VAN DONGEN Delfshaven 1877 – 1968 Monaco
A painter and potter, Cornelis ‘Kees’ van Dongen was born in Delfshaven, a suburb of Rotterdam, in 1877. He commenced his artistic studies at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Rotterdam aged sixteen and visited Paris for the first time in 1897. By 1899 van Dongen had settled permanently in Paris and became assimilated in the artistic circles of Montmartre, where his heavy Dutch Expressionist style was soon tempered by the late Impressionists. In 1901 he married Augusta ‘Guus’ Preitinger who featured in many of his early works; he supported himself by house painting and illustrating periodicals. In 1904 van Dongen exhibited one hundred works at the gallery of Ambrose Vollard and the following year he exhibited alongside Henri Matisse in the controversial Salon d’Automne which saw the emergence of the group of artists known as the Fauves. In 1906 he moved into the Bâteau Lavoir, a collection of run-down artists’ studios that attracted some of the most avant-garde artists of the period and which is reputed to have been the birthplace of Cubism. During this time he forged a strong and lasting friendship with Pablo Picasso whose girlfriend, Fernande Olivier, modelled for him on a number of occasions. Van Dongen was also a prolific graphic artist and illustrator, contributing satirical drawings to La Revue Blanche and L’Assiette au Beurre. He also produced illustrations for numerous books, including works by Rudyard Kipling and Anatole France. After the First World War van Dongen became a popular painter of the beau-monde and the demi-monde, chronicling the années folles of the 1920s. Throughout his career his work retained the Fauvist intensity of the early 1900s and he continued to draw his subject matter from the hedonistic world of Paris, Venice and the Côte d’Azur.
He also executed portrait commissions for prominent members of European society, including the Aga Khan, King Leopold III of Belgium and Brigitte Bardot.
RAOUL DUFY Le Havre 1877 – 1953 Forcalquier
Raoul Dufy’s beginnings were marked by his curiosity towards art in general and his love for painting. In his leisure time from his work as a book-keeper he took evening courses at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Le Havre and constantly visited the museums. He formed a close friendship with another young artist, Othon Friesz, and both men were influenced by Eugène Boudin and Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot. In 1900 Dufy joined Friesz in Paris, studying at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in the studio of Léon Bonnat and encountering the work of Claude Lorrain and the Impressionists. In 1902, the painter Maurice Delcourt introduced Dufy to Berthe Weil, who had a studio in rue Victor Massé. Here she organised exhibitions of avant-garde artists such as Marquet and Matisse. The presence of the Fauve painters at the 1905 Salon des Indépendents proved a revelation. Dufy was particularly impressed by Matisse’s Luxe, calme et volupté, adopting the Fauves’ glowing colours and sweeping brushstrokes in works such as Rue pavoisée, 1906 (Pompidou, Paris). A visit to Munich in 1909 exposed Dufy to the work of the German Expressionists and the possibilities of wood engraving. The following year he made woodcuts to illustrate Guillaume Apollinaire’s Bestiaire ou cortège d’Orphée and in 1911 established with the fashion designer Paul Poiret La Petite Usine, a cloth-printing workshop in which Dufy produced watercolour designs for Bianchini-Férier textiles. From the early 1920s Dufy developed his characteristic style, in which free, dynamic drawing is coupled with an arbitrary use of colour independent of line, creating a tremendous sense of joie de vivre. Slavish truth to nature was less important than evoking a ‘shorthand of the essential’ through a poetic universe of emblems. Favourite themes included regattas and seaside views bustling with people, and horse-racing. Dufy travelled
in Italy, Morocco and southern France in the 1920s; in the 1930s he often stayed in England, where his work was highly regarded. Dufy’s first stage design was for the celebrated Le Boeuf sur le Toit (1920), with words by Jean Cocteau and music by Darius Milhaud. He produced designs for ceramics, tapestry cartoons and architectural decorations, notably the 600 sq. metre Electricity fairy (Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris), made for the 1937 Exposition Internationale des Arts et Techniques dans la Vie Moderne. Passionate about music, from 1942 Dufy made a series of orchestra paintings. Towards the end of his life he abandoned colour contrasts in favour of almost monochrome tonal painting in such works as Yellow console of the violin, 1949 (Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto). Raoul Dufy died in Forcalquier, Basses-Alpes, on 23rd March 1953. The work of Raoul Dufy is represented in the Musée d’Orsay, Paris; the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris; the Musée des Beaux-Arts, Nice; the Hermitage, St Petersburg; Tate Modern, London; the Royal Collection, London; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Art Institute of Chicago and the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto.
HENRI FANTIN-LATOUR Grenoble 1836 – 1904 Buré
Henri Fantin-Latour was a painter of romantic figure subjects, portrait groups and still-life. He received his earliest training from his father, a portrait painter, and in 1850, entered the studio of Lecoq de Boisbaudran. Later, he studied under Courbet at the Ecole des Beaux Arts. Much of his time was spent copying works in the Louvre, which he sold mostly to American and English clients. It was there he met Manet in 1857, Whistler in 1858 and Victoria Dubourg, his future wife. Fantin-Latour first exhibited at the Salon in 1861 and continued to contribute works almost annually up until 1876. Amongst his best known paintings were his group portraits, providing a gallery of prominent figures including artists, writers and musicians. In 1859, Whistler persuaded Fantin-Latour to visit England, where he met Edwin Edwards who was to become a life-long friend and patron. In England he became particularly popular for his still life and flower paintings, notable for the restraint and elegance of their colour and composition. He was greatly admired by his contemporaries. Jacques Emile Blanche wrote: ‘Fantin studied each flower, each petal, its grain, its tissue, as if it were a human face’. Towards the end of his life, Fantin-Latour became increasingly absorbed in music and developed a passion for Wagner, who inspired works which both in subject and style show a strong affinity with the Symbolist movement.
ÉVA GONZALÈS 1849 – Paris – 1883
Éva Gonzalès was born in Paris, the daughter of the well-known novelist Emmanuel Gonzalès and his wife, a talented harpist. After a childhood steeped in literature and music, Éva Gonzalès in 1866-67 studied in the atelier of Charles Chaplin, a fashionable portraitist who ran a studio for women. She made figure compositions and landscapes, exhibiting at the Salon of 1870 as his pupil. In February 1869 Gonzalès became the only formal pupil of Edouard Manet, to whom she had been introduced by the Belgian painter Alfred Stevens. Manet’s portrait of Gonzalès at her easel was exhibited at the Salon of 1870 (National Gallery, London). Records of their lessons in still life painting reveal Manet’s method of seeking out the overall tonal relationships of a composition, rather than trying to reproduce in detail what the eye perceives. Following the advice of Manet, Gonzalès did not exhibit with the Impressionists, but remained loyal to the Salon. She concentrated on modern life subjects, often of a single female figure in an interior, portraits and still life. Her models were frequently members of her family, particularly her beloved sister Jeanne, who was also a talented painter. Gonzalès’s brushwork has a dancing flexibility and wit which recalls that of Manet: she could sum up the essence of a still life, such as Roses de juin (Salon of 1878; private collection) in a flurry of delicate brushwork. Gonzalès was equally talented in the medium of pastel. Her work was praised by Realist critics such as Emile Zola and Edmond Duranty. In 1879 Gonzalès married the engraved Henri Guérard. The unfinished painting Donkey ride (Bristol Museum and Art Gallery) features her husband and sister; it demonstrates her adherence to Manet’s method of proceeding from sketchy underpainting to a finished
work. Sadly, Gonzalès’s immense talent was never to develop into a long career. She died in Paris on 6th May 1883 from an embolism after the birth of her son Jean-Raymond, a few days after the death of her mentor Manet. In 1885 a retrospective of eighty-eight of her works was held at the Salons de La Vie Moderne. The work of Eva Gonzalès is represented in the Musée d’Orsay, Paris; the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery; the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna; the Kunsthalle, Bremen; the Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, CT; the Art Institute of Chicago; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.
PAUL-CÉSAR HELLEU Vannes 1859 – 1927 Paris
Paul-César Helleu was a painter and engraver whose work epitomises the charm and elegance of France in the Belle Epoque. His portraits of his wife, Alice, are considered to be amongst his most sensitive works. However, it was his commissioned portraits of society ladies that brought him fame and fortune. Helleu was born in Vannes on the Breton coast in 1859. In 1870 he moved to Paris to study at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts with Jean-Léon Gérôme; his circle of friends included John Singer Sargent (who bought one of his earliest works), Degas, Whistler, Alfred Stevens and Giovanni Boldini. Impoverished as a student, for a decade Helleu supplemented his finances by decorating plates for the potter Joseph-Théodore Deck. In 1876 Helleu and Sargent visited the Second Impressionist Exhibition, which was to have a profound effect on their artistic careers. Helleu was greatly impressed by this new group of artists and was accepted as one of them. In 1886 he was invited by Degas to exhibit in the eighth exhibition, but declined because of the advice of Monet and his dislike of Gauguin’s work. Helleu’s reputation was established when he exhibited several large pastels at the Salons of 1885 and 1886, including Woman with a fan (Salon 1886; Institute of Arts, Minneapolis, MN). Jacques-Emile Blanche declared that never before had an unknown artist received such a rapturous reception. In 1885 Helleu visited London with Gérôme to paint a panorama (untraced). He became an Anglophile and thenceforth visited England almost every year. The following year Helleu married Alice Guérin, with whom he had fallen in love two years previously, when she was only fourteen. The graceful, red-haired Alice became his chief muse and model. Helleu’s paintings and drypoints of Alice and their lovely
children, executed with a sinuous lightness of line, are among his most celebrated works. Helleu became a master of the difficult drypoint medium, executing many portraits of society beauties. In 1887 Helleu met Comte Robert de Montesquiou, the inspiration for the decadent Baron de Charlus in Proust’s À la Recherche du Temps Perdu. Montesquiou became an important patron and Helleu also painted several portraits of de Montesquiou’s cousin, Mme de Greffulhe (Proust’s Duchesse de Guermantes). Helleu himself features in Proust’s magnum opus as the painter Elstir. Helleu’s financial success as a society portraitist allowed him to indulge a love of yachting. He spent his summers at Deauville and Cowes, mixing with both French and English high society. Alice enjoyed entertaining on their boat L’Étoile and Helleu painted many canvases of life on board and harbour scenes. Helleu visited America in 1902, 1912 and 1920, portraying famous American ladies such as Helena Rubinstein (drypoint) and the flamboyant Director of the Pierpont Morgan Library, Belle da Costa Greene (coloured chalk drawing; Pierpont Morgan Library, New York). In 1912 he painted the signs of the zodiac on the ceiling of Grand Central Station. Paul-César Helleu died in Paris on 23rd March 1927. The work of Paul-César Helleu is represented in the Musée D’Orsay, Paris; the Louvre, Paris; the Hermitage, St Petersburg; Tate, London and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
ACHILLE LAUGÉ Arzens 1861 – 1944 Cailhau (Aude)
Achille Laugé was born in Arzens in the Aude region of southern France, at the foot of the Pyrenees. His parents were prosperous farmers who moved to the village of Cailhau near Carcassonne, where he spent most of his life. Apprenticed in 1878 to a pharmacist in Toulouse, Laugé studied painting part-time before going to Paris in 1881. He studied with Alexandre Cabanel and Jean-Paul Laurens at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. Antoine Bourdelle, whom he had known in Toulouse, introduced him to Aristide Maillol; the three remained close friends. In 1888 Laugé returned to Carcassonne, but kept his Parisian contacts. He exhibited at the Salon des Indépendents in 1894 and at an exhibition in Toulouse the same year in the company of the Nabis and Toulouse-Lautrec. The following year Laugé returned to Cailhau, where he spent the rest of his life. He had several one-man shows in Paris from 1907 to 1930. In his earlier works Achille Laugé is clearly influenced by the work of Georges Seurat, whose controversial painting La Grande Jatte was exhibited in Paris in 1886. From 1888 until about 1896, Laugé composed his pictures with small points of colour. However, he appears never entirely to have accepted Seurat’s scientific approach to painting, choosing instead to concentrate on the primacy of colour rather than a strictly Pointillist approach. By the end of the nineteenth century Laugé had abandoned dots and dabs and painted his landscapes, portraits and still lifes with thin, systematically placed strokes resembling crosshatching. After 1905 Laugé applied his pigments more freely, with enlarged strokes and thick impasto that brought him closer to a traditional Impressionist technique whilst maintaining his ability to paint the translucence of southern light. Laugé was, at heart, a
plein air painter, travelling around in his atelier roulante, a glass-sided studio on wheels, which allowed him to paint in all weathers and at all seasons. The countryside of the Languedoc was the inspiration for most of his work. The work of Achille Laugé is represented in the Musée d’Orsay, Paris; the Musée Bourdelle, Paris; Musée Petiet, Limoux; the Musée des Beaux-Arts, Carcassonne; the Petit-Palais, Geneva and the Musée de Grenoble.
HENRI LEBASQUE Champigné 1865 – 1937 Cannet
Hailed by critics and artists alike as ‘the painter of the good life’, Henri Lebasque was acclaimed for his individuality, his delicate sense of light and his personal charm. Such were the qualities that prompted Beaunier to write: ‘Lebasque merits the renown of a lovely original artist, who knows his calling, uses it well, and never abuses it’ (Gazette des Beaux Arts, May 1908, p. 366). Born in Champigné, the son of a wood merchant, Lebasque went to Paris in 1885 and studied at the Ecole des Beaux Arts. He then entered the atelier of the portraitist Bonnat and began to exhibit at the annual art society exhibitions and the Paris Salons. He later assisted Humbert with the decorative murals of the Panthéon. Lebasque’s vision was coloured by his contact with younger painters, especially Vuillard and Bonnard, founders of the Nabis group and Intimists who favoured the calm and quietude of domestic subject matter. From his acquaintance with Seurat and Signac, Lebasque learnt the significance of a colour theory which stressed the use of complementary colours in shading. Lebasque was a founding member of the Salon d’Automne in 1903 with his friend Matisse. Two years later a group of artists exhibited there including Rouault, Derain, Vuillard, Manguin and Matisse. Dubbed Les Fauves for their stylistic ‘savagery’, it was noted by the critic Vauxcelles that Lebasque’s talent arrived ‘in the midst of the roaring of the unchained beasts’. Like Les Fauves, he adopted a similar flatness of shape and colour, but blended with a sophisticated and subtle fluidity. He painted domestic scenes with his family as models, landscapes, portraits and nudes.
From 1900 to 1906 Lebasque lived at partly at Lagny on the Marne, but also visited Paris, London and Venice. He was enchanted by the light of the Midi on a trip to St Tropez in 1906 and spent many summers in the south of France. During the First World War, Lebasque was a war artist. He exhibited in America from 1916 and from 1918 was represented by Galeries Georges Petit. In 1924 Lebasque moved to Le Cannet on the French Riviera, where he shared a model with his friend and neighbour Bonnard. He died in Le Cannet on 6th August 1937. The work of Henri Lebasque is represented in the Louvre, Paris; the Musée d’Orsay, Paris; the Musée d’Angers; the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, CA; the Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA; the Nelson-Atkins Museum, Kansas City, MO; the National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo; the Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen and the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, Madrid.
ALBERT-CHARLES LEBOURG Montfort-sur-Risle, Eure 1849 – Rouen 1928
Albert Lebourg was born in 1849 at Monfort-sur-Risle, between Rouen and Honfleur, the son of Louis-François Lebourg, a clerk to the Justice of the Peace in Montfort. On journeys with his father he was inspired by the beauty of the Normandy countryside. Lebourg studied with the architect Drouin at the Ecole Municipale de Dessin and at the Ecole Municipale de Peinture in Rouen with Gustave Morin. In 1872 his patron Laurent Laperlier obtained for him the position of teacher of drawing at the Société des BeauxArts in Algiers, a post he held until 1877. Lebourg responded to the radiance of Algiers with landscapes painted in touches of bright colour, sometimes making several studies of the same motif in different lighting conditions. In 1873 he married Marie Guillou, the daughter of a Rouen sculptor. From 1878 to 1880 Lebourg attended Jean-Paul Laurens’s studio in Paris; in 1879 his work was shown at the rue des Pyramides with Degas and Monet, with whom he later became friendly. He first exhibited at the Salon in 1883 and at the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts from 1891 to 1914. From 1884 to 1886 Lebourg spent much time in the Auvergne, producing a number of snowscapes which combine a delicate Impressionist touch with a perfect balance between observation and composition. By 1892 he was back in Rouen, where his work was avidly collected by the Rouennais patron of Impressionism, François Depeaux. The death of Lebourg’s wife in 1894 was a major blow. Lebourg travelled in the Netherlands (1895-7), to London (1900), where he admired Constable and Turner, and Switzerland (1902), exploring motifs of lakes, rivers and reflections. He had his first one-man show at Galerie Mancini in 1896 and two years later was given a successful one-man exhibition at Galerie Bernheim. Lebourg divided his time between Paris, Rouen and his painting expeditions, often along the Seine. His later
landscapes are more fluid and have a wistful poetry. Lebourg ceased to paint after a stroke in 1920. In 1921 he married his sister-in-law, Alice Guillou, and died in Rouen in 1928. The work of Albert Lebourg is represented in the Musée Marmottan Monet, Paris; the Musée d’Orsay, Paris; the Musée des Beaux-Arts, Rouen; the Musée de la Chartreuse, Douai; the Hermitage, St Petersburg; the Art Institute of Chicago; the Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen and the National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo.
FERNAND LÉGER Argentan 1881 – 1955 Gif-sur-Yvette
Born in Normandy, the son of a cattle merchant, Fernand Léger was sent to Caen in 1897 to be apprenticed in an architect’s office. In 1900 he went to Paris to work as an architect’s draughtsman. After military service, he was admitted to the Ecole des Arts Décoratifs in 1903, studying with Jean-Léon Gérôme and Gabriel Ferrier. By 1908 he was living at La Ruche, near Montparnasse, where he met avant-garde artists, including Robert Delaunay and Marc Chagall, and the poets Jacob and Apollinaire. After Impressionist and Fauve phases, he was inspired by the 1907 memorial exhibition of Cézanne at the Salon d’Automne to an increasing concern with volumes and order. In 1912 Léger exhibited at the Maison Cubiste section of the Salon d’Automne. The following year he was offered a contract with Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler, Picasso and Braque’s dealer. Léger responded to the increasing speed and mechanization of modern life by exploring contrasts, declaring ‘Pictorial contrasts in their purest sense (complementary colours, lines and forms) are henceforth the structural basis of modern pictures’. Léger served with the Engineers in the First World War until he was gassed at Verdun. Impressed by the spirit of the common man, he made many War drawings and declared that art had to be accessible to everyone. Henceforth he would model in pure, local colour, using large volumes. Back in Paris, Léger captured contemporary life in large paintings like The city, 1919 (Philadelphia Museum of Art), which take inspiration from the newfangled art of advertising. That year he married Jeanne Lohy (d.1950). Keen to exploit new methods of mass communication, he directed films such as Ballet méchanique (1924), with music by Georges Antheil, as well as designing sets for the ballet La Création du monde (1923),
based on African myths, and murals for the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs (1925). In 1924 Léger and Amédée Ozenfant founded the Académie de l’Art Moderne. From the 1930s Léger’s work became more realistic and accessible, often depicting monumental groups with strong contours and filled-in colours. He corresponded with the Soviet film-maker Sergei Eisenstein and in 1945 joined the Communist Party. Léger spent from 1940 to 1946 in America, teaching at Yale and working on series of paintings such as the Divers, Acrobats and Cyclists, in which swathes of liberated colour intersect the outlines of stylized figures. The freeing of colour was suggested to him as he watched Broadway neon signs wash colour over pedestrians in the street. Léger reopened his Paris Academy in 1946 and attracted students such as Sam Francis and Richard Stankiewicz, who were able to draw inspiration from the vibrant arts of France thanks to the GI Bill. He made several more series of large paintings celebrating the common man, notably the Builders, some of which were installed in the canteen of Renault’s factory near Paris. In the 1950s Léger also worked in stained glass, ceramics and tapestry, as well as designing mosaics for the Catholic, Protestant and Jewish chapels of the American Memorial at Bastogne, Belgium (1950). In 1952 he married his studio assistant Nadia Khodassievich and continued to paint and travel widely until his death in 1955.
LÉON-AUGUSTIN LHERMITTE Mont-Saint-Père, Aisne 1844 – 1925 Paris
Léon-Augustin Lhermitte was a pupil of Lecoq de Boisbaudran. He first exhibited at the Paris Salon of 1864, where his painting Bords de la Marne près d’Alfort was well received. He was awarded medals at the Paris Salons of 1874 and 1880 and he also won the Grand Prix at the Exhibition Universelle in 1889 and the Diplome d’Honneur at Dresden in 1890. In 1884 Lhermitte was decorated with the Légion d’Honneur, promoted to officer in 1894 and commander in 1911. He was elected a member of L’Institut in 1905. In 1890 he became one of the founder members of the Societé Nationale des Beaux-Arts, of which he was to become Vice-President. Lhermitte painted almost exclusively scenes from rural life and was quite strongly influenced by the works of Jean-François Millet. He also studied closely the works of Jules Bastien-Lepage, Alfred-Philippe Roll, Jean-Charles Cazin and Jean-François Raffaëlli. Like all these artists, he was later to adopt the style of ‘La peinture clair’ made fashionable by the Impressionists. This was a time when artists were becoming increasingly aware of the works of authors such as Maupassant and Zola, which led to the development of the Realist movement. The work of Léon Lhermitte is represented in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts; the Institute of Fine Art, Chicago; the Metropolitan Museum, New York and the Musée d’Art Moderne at the Palais des Beaux Arts, Paris.
ALBERT MARQUET Bordeaux 1875 – 1947 Paris
Albert Marquet was born in Bordeaux in 1875, the son of a railway employee. He went to Paris to study at the Ecole des Arts Décoratifs at the age of fifteen. Six years later he joined the studio of Gustave Moreau, where he met and forged lasting friendships with Camoin, Rouault, Manguin and Matisse. During this period Marquet began to use the vibrant colours and bold brushwork that is characteristic of the Fauves with whom he was closely associated. He exhibited at Berthe Weill and the Galerie Druet, Paris from 1902 and from 1903 at the Salon d’Automne. After 1907 Marquet’s interest in Japonisme resulted in more sober works. He travelled extensively, frequently leaving his apartment on the banks of the Seine to visit England, Germany, Italy, the USSR, Scandinavia and North Africa, where he spent the years of the Second World War. He met his wife Marcelle Martinet, whom he married in 1923, on his first stay in Algiers in 1920. The most profound influence on his work is that of the Impressionists, most notably Paul Cézanne. Like the Impressionists his favourite subjects were port scenes, beaches, quaysides, river views and coastal villages; he was particularly fascinated by the effect of light on water. André Rouveyre, a fellow student in Gustave Moreau’s atelier, wrote: ‘Marquet reigns over the kingdom of light. The light that shines on the things of this world, of course, but also that which belongs to his pictures alone: a strangely regal quality that comes from his sensitivity and wisdom. Skies, hills, houses, streets all bathe in his subtle but intense lights’.
HENRI MARTIN Toulouse 1860 – 1943 Labastide-du-Vert
Henri Martin moved to Paris in 1879 from his home town of Toulouse. A scholarship enabled him to study in the studio of Jean-Paul Laurens and in 1883, at the age of twentythree, he gained his first medal at the Paris Salon. In 1885 Martin was awarded a scholarship by the Salon to study in Italy, a journey that was to have a profound effect upon his artistic development. Until this period he had favoured literary, historical and Biblical subjects painted in a precise, academic technique, but the Italian light and his study of masters such as Giotto and Masaccio gave him a new perspective. Martin returned to Paris in 1889. Influenced by the Neo-Impressionists, Martin used the Divisionist technique to give his work an ethereal quality; he abandoned the academic style of his earlier works and in 1889 submitted a canvas to the Salon that was wholly Pointillist. During the next decade, impressed by the work of the Symbolists, Martin peopled his landscape with shimmering allegorical figures and floating muses. Puvis de Chavannes said of him: ‘Celui-ça sera mon héritier, il continuera’. However, from 1900 Martin appears to have detached himself from the Symbolists and allowed his admiration for the Impressionists to influence his work to a greater extent. Martin was a talented painter of large-scale decorative commissions, including the murals for the Hôtel de Ville in Paris (1895-6), which combine figures of Apollo and the Muses with official portraits in dreamlike landscapes that blend Pointillist brushwork and academic drawing. Later murals, such as Mowers for the Toulouse Capitole, employ allegory only within the context of the celebration of nature and the rhythm of agricultural life.
A shy, quiet character, Henri Martin remained independent, refusing to be contracted to one particular Parisian dealer, despite the success garnered by many of his contemporaries by such arrangements. In 1900 he bought Marquayrol, an old farmhouse near Labastidedu-Vert in the Lot Valley. The house, his family and the beautiful landscape provided him with inspiration for the rest of his life. Martin sought to convey the colours and textures of the changing seasons and the ancient rhythm of the agricultural world. These canvases are considered to be amongst his most successful works. Henri Martin died at Marquayrol in 1943. The work of Henri Martin is represented in the Musée d’Orsay, the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, the Hôtel de Ville and the Conseil d’Etat, Paris; the Musée des Beaux-Arts, Bordeaux; the Capitole and the Musée Augustins, Toulouse, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Montreal.
HENRY MORET Cherbourg 1856 – 1913 Paris
Henry Moret was born in Cherbourg, Normandy, the son of a garrison officer. A gentle, thoughtful man and an indefatigable worker, Henry Moret discovered Brittany during his military service in 1875. Having trained at the Ecole des Beaux Arts and in the studios of Gérôme and Laurens in Paris, Moret returned to Brittany in 1881, staying at Le Pouldu near Pont Aven. For the rest of his life he divided his time between Paris and Brittany, painting the landscape and rugged coastline. In 1888, while living in Pont-Aven, he met Gauguin and the circle of painters who gathered around him in L’Auberge Gloanec. Moret was influenced by Gauguin’s philosophy of Syntheticism, summarized in 1890 by Maurice Denis: ‘It is well to remember that a picture before being a battle horse, a nude woman, or some anecdote, is essentially a flat surface covered with colours assembled in a certain order’. Moret’s Breton landscapes of the early 1890s have often been mistaken for those of Gauguin. In his later work Moret re-explored the more naturalistic approach of the Impressionists, using a palette dominated by blues, greens and pinks. In 1893 Moret fell in love with Célina Chatenet, a dressmaker who became his wife in 1910. She helped to support him financially until a contract with Durand-Ruel in 1895 freed Moret from money worries. He exhibited at the Salon des Indépendants and the Salon d’Automne. In 1900 and 1902 Durand-Ruel showed his work in New York, along with that of Maufra and Loiseau. Following Moret’s death in 1913, Durand-Ruel held a number of posthumous exhibitions and in one catalogue Moret was described as having the ability ‘to express the Breton landscape exactly… he occupies a unique place in the evolution of art at the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth century, as he has been able to fuse together two fundamentally opposing styles: the Syntheticism of Pont Aven and Impressionism’.
The work of Henry Moret is represented in the Musée d’Orsay, Paris; the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Quimper; Southampton City Art Gallery; the National Museums and Galleries of Wales, Cardiff; the Hermitage, St Petersburg; the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and Indianapolis Museum of Art.
BERTHE MORISOT Bourges 1841 – 1895 Paris
Berthe Morisot was the first woman to join the Impressionists, sharing their aims and contributing to their principal exhibitions. The early interest she and her sister Edma took in drawing was encouraged by their parents, who sent them to study with Joseph Alexandre Guichard, a pupil of Ingres. Under his tutelage, they copied works in the Louvre. By 1860, Morisot had already expressed an inclination to paint en plein air and in 1861 she was introduced to Corot, from whom she took lessons and by whom she was considerably influenced. She worked with him in Ville d’Avray and later with his pupil Oudinot at Auvers, where she encountered Daubigny and Daumier. In 1868 Morisot met Edouard Manet, who was to become a close friend and colour her entire life. She married his younger brother Eugène in 1874 and that same year sent nine pictures to the first Impressionist exhibition. The artistic ambience in which Morisot lived was of great importance to the development of her work and her friends included Degas, Monet and Renoir, musicians such as Rossini and Chabrier, and the greatest writers of the day, Zola, Baudelaire and Mallarmé. During the latter part of her career, Morisot showed a renewed interest in drawing, as a fundamental process of modelling and emphasizing the plasticity of her subjects. She now adopted a style composed of long, sinuous strokes as a means of giving linear definition to form.
GIUSEPPE DE NITTIS Barletta 1846 – 1884 Saint-Germain-en-Laye
Born in Barletta on the Adriatic coast in south-west Italy, Guiseppe de Nittis studied at the Institute of Fine Art in Naples until he was expelled for rebelling against traditional academic teaching. He formed the Scuola de Resina with Marco De Gregorio (18291886) and Federico Rossano (1835-1912) and became a close friend of Adriano Cecioni, promoter of the Macchiaoli. De Nittis painted innovative landscapes around Naples and Barletta, with a restricted palette and strong diagonals. By the age of twenty-one he was renowned throughout Italy. Crossing of the Apennines, 1867, which strongly influenced the Macchaioli, was bought by King Victor Emmanuel II for the Pinacoteca di Capodimonte. De Nittis travelled to Rome, Paris and Florence in 1867, settling in Paris the following year but spending 1870-73, the period of the Franco-Prussian War, back in Naples and Barletta. His atmospheric landscapes of that area established his reputation in Paris. From 1873 onwards he painted many views of modern Paris and elegant Parisiennes, adopting a Naturalistic approach with bold compositions and a sense of movement. Invited by Degas, De Nittis showed five works at the first Impressionist exhibition in 1874. His themes of modern life and interest in the expressive power of natural light reveal an affinity with the Impressionists, though he found their style somewhat unvaried and lacking in form. He was friendly with Degas, Manet and Caillebotte but resented by Renoir for his commercial success. Until 1882 De Nittis spent several months of each year in London, where he had a major patron in the banker Kaye Knowles. By the mid-1870s he had an international reputation and his Parisian Saturday soirées, presided over by his elegant wife Leontine Gruvelle, attracted writers such as Emile Zola and Edmond de Goncourt and artists such as Manet.
In 1875 De Nittis discovered the expressive qualities of pastel, for example in large-scale portraits such as Edmond de Goncourt, 1880-81 (Académie Goncourt, Paris). He was awarded a gold medal at the 1878 Exposition Universelle in Paris and soon afterwards the Légion d’Honneur. A major exhibition of eighteen large-scale pastels at the Cercle des Mirlitons in 1881 included a monumental triptych, Races at Auteuil, 1881 (Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna, Rome). In 1883 the French government bought for the Musée du Luxembourg the oil La Place du Carrousel: ruins of the Tuileries, 1882 (Musée d’Orsay, Paris). The freedom of his pastels influenced De Nittis’s more impressionistic later oils, such as the sun-drenched Luncheon in the garden, 1884, painted a few months before his death on 21st August 1884. His wife gave his library, papers and 234 works to Barletta, where they are held in the Museo-Pinacoteca Communale. The work of Giuseppe De Nittis is represented in the Musée du Louvre, Paris; the Musée d’Orsay, Paris; the National Gallery, London; Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna, Rome; the Museo-Pinacoteca Communale, Barletta; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Art Institute of Chicago and Philadelphia Museum of Art.
HERMANN MAX PECHSTEIN Eckersbach 1881 – 1955 West Berlin
Max Pechstein was apprenticed as a decorator in Zwickau from 1896 to 1900, before moving to Dresden to enrol at the Kunstgewerbeschule. He studied with Otto Gussmann from 1902 to 1906 at the Dresden Kunstakademie. In 1906 he was asked by Erich Heckel to join Die Brücke, the group that was a major force in the rise of German Expressionism. He worked with Heckel and Ernst Ludwig Kirchner in Dresden and painted nude bathers en plein air at the Moritzburg lakes in the summer of 1910. In 1907 Pechstein won the Dresden Kunstakademie’s Rome prize. On his way back in 1908 he visited Paris, meeting the Fauve painters and encouraging Kees van Dongen to join Die Brücke. That year he moved to Berlin and exhibited at the Berlin Secession in 1909. Rejected the following year, he helped to found the Neue Secession, of which he was made Chairman. In 1911 Pechstein and Kirchner began a rather unsuccessful art school, the Moderner Unterricht in Malerei-Institut. Pechstein had adopted Die Brücke’s manner of painting in flat, pure, unmixed colours and continued in this style even after being expelled from the group in 1912. He gained success, was commissioned to decorate houses and design stained glass windows and by the 1920s was regarded by several German critics as ‘the Giotto of our time’. Like other members of Die Brücke, as well as Picasso and Braque in Paris, Pechstein was interested in ‘primitive’ art and made drawings of Oceanic sculptures in the Völkerkundemuseum in Berlin. In 1914 Pechstein travelled to Palau in the Pacific Ocean, but was interned by the Japanese on the outbreak of war. He eventually found his way back to Germany, only to be sent to the Western Front. In 1918 he was involved with two politically radical groups of artists, Arbeitsrat für Kunst and the Novembergruppe, in the turmoil following the German defeat.
In 1922 Pechstein became a member of the Preussiche Akademie der Künste and a professor at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste in Berlin; in 1926 he was commissioned by the German government to design a five-part stained glass window for the Internationales Arbeitsamt in Geneva. As a left-winger he was persecuted by the Nazis: forbidden to paint or exhibit and removed from his teaching post in 1933 and the following year stripped of his membership of the Akademie. In 1945 he was appointed professor at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste in West Berlin and was awarded many honours before his death in 1955. The work of Max Pechstein is represented in the Städtischen Museum, Zwickau; the State Museums of Berlin; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Art Institute of Chicago; the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid; the Kunstmuseum, Lucerne and the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.
CAMILLE PISSARRO Saint Thomas 1830 – 1903 Paris
Camille Pissarro was perhaps the greatest propagandist and the most constant member of the Impressionists, and the only one to participate in all eight of their exhibitions. Born at St Thomas in the West Indies, he went to school in Paris and then worked in his father’s business for five years. Ill-suited to being a merchant, Pissarro decided to become a painter, studying at the Ecole des Beaux Arts and the informal Académie Suisse. He was considerably influenced and encouraged by Corot, and to a lesser extent by Courbet. During the 1860s, Pissarro exhibited at the official Salons and in 1863 at the Salon des Refusés. He increasingly associated himself with the Impressionists, especially Monet and Renoir. With the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian war, Pissarro fled to London, where Durand-Ruel became his principal patron and dealer. After the war, Pissarro returned to France and settled at Pontoise, spending much time with Cézanne, whom he directed towards Impressionism. In 1884 he moved to Eragny. During the 1890s the meadows at Eragny-sur-Epte, looking across to the village of Bazincourt, became one of Pissarro’s principal subjects, painted at different times of the day and year. In 1885 Pissarro came into contact with Seurat and Signac and for a brief period experimented with Neo-Impressionism. The rigidity of this technique, however, proved too restrictive, and he returned to the freedom and spontaneity of Impressionism. From 1893, Pissarro embarked upon a series of Parisian themes, such as the Gare St Lazare and the Grands Boulevards. He continued to spend the summers at Eragny, where he painted the landscape in his most poetic Impressionist idiom.
PIERRE-AUGUSTE RENOIR Limoges 1841 – 1919 Cagnes
Pierre-August Renoir, one of the best loved of the Impressionists, always painted the beauties of nature: harmonious landscapes, flowers, fruit, children and women. He began his career at the age of thirteen as a painter on porcelain in a factory in Paris. He soon gave this up in favour of painting fans and decorating blinds, which he did until 1862, when he had saved enough money to support his ambition to study art. He enrolled in classes at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and in 1864 had his first painting accepted at the Paris Salon. During this period Renoir also studied in the atelier of Charles Gleyre, where he became friends with Claude Monet, Alfred Sisley and Frédéric Bazille. In 1863 Manet’s Déjeuner sur l’Herbe caused uproar at the Salon des Refusés and made a deep impression on the group of young painters. They began to go on expeditions to the Forest of Fontainebleau to paint en plein air and started to develop a palette and style of painting that formed the foundation of Impressionism. In 1869 Renoir worked alongside Claude Monet at La Grenouillière on the Seine, producing what are considered to be the first landscapes painted in the Impressionist style. Although Renoir continued to submit his works to the Salon throughout the early 1870s, he also continued to explore his new approach to light and colour and to forge strong links with other like-minded artists such as Camille Pissarro, Alfred Sisley and Edgar Degas. By 1874 the group was so disaffected by the constraints placed upon them by the Salon jury that they decided to mount their own exhibition which challenged the accepted tradition of official art exhibitions. In April 1874 the group held the first of the Impressionist exhibitions.
This group of artists exhibited eight times between 1874 and 1886 and Renoir participated on four occasions. In 1878 his painting Madame Charpentier and her children (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York) was accepted at the Salon. The painting was critically well received and Renoir finally began to sell his paintings; for the first time he experienced a degree of financial security. As Renoir’s popularity grew he travelled more and gradually began to adopt a different approach to his art. The Impressionists were suffering from internal disputes which led Renoir to disassociate himself from them; consequently he did not take part in the eighth and final show in 1886. Throughout the rest of his life Renoir’s work continued to develop. He visited the South of France, Italy and North Africa, where he painted dramatic, highly-coloured landscapes. He eventually married his mistress Aline Charigot and as his family grew he experienced a new contentment. In 1907, suffering from ill health, he purchased a property in Cagnessur-Mer near Nice on the Côte d’Azur, where he settled with his family and painted until his death in 1919.
HENRI LE SIDANER Port-Louis 1862 – 1939 Versailles
Henri Le Sidaner was born on the island of Mauritius in 1862. At the age of ten his family moved to Dunkirk and in 1880 Le Sidaner left for Paris where he was admitted to the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in 1882. He studied under Alexandre Cabanel until 1885, during which time he discovered the work of Edouard Manet, whose Bar aux Folies Bergères was to have a profound influence on his artistic development. Cabanel was strongly opposed to the work of the Impressionists, which led Le Sidaner to break away from the strict regime of his atelier and move to Etaples where he began to develop the individual technique which was to become his own personal style in the years to come. Le Sidaner travelled extensively throughout his life, visiting Holland, Belgium, Venice, London and New York; he also moved constantly throughout France. In 1900 he visited the tiny village of Gerberoy (Seine-et-Oise) where he later bought the house which became the inspiration for many of his paintings and where he painted his beautiful still lifes. He exhibited at the Paris Salon, the Galerie Georges Petit and the Goupil Gallery in London. Although the work of Henri Le Sidaner appears to be impervious to the artistic changes taking place at the beginning of the twentieth century, he was not totally unaffected by the development of Impressionism and Neo-Impressionism. His work is very much in the Realist style but at the same time evocative and poetic, combining a dreamlike quality with acute technical expertise. Le Sidaner’s atmospheric paintings, whether they be landscapes or still lifes, express his unique personal vision.
ALFRED SISLEY Paris 1839 – 1899 Moret-sur-Loing
Alfred Sisley was born in Paris into a wealthy English family. He came to London at the age of eighteen to study commerce with a view to entering the family business, but soon decided to devote himself entirely to painting. Upon his return to Paris in 1863, assured of family support, Sisley entered the studio of Marc Gleyre where he met and became lifelong friends with Claude Monet and Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Sisley’s first recorded landscape dates from 1865, yet his financially comfortable circumstances may account for the fact that there are only eighteen known paintings by him pre-dating 1871. Sisley’s lifestyle changed abruptly in 1870, the year of the Franco-Prussian War, with the death of his father and the financial ruination of his family. He was then compelled to turn to painting as a means of supporting himself. From this time on his correspondence to friends and patrons is dominated by pleas for financial aid. Sisley was the only Impressionist to paint landscapes almost exclusively; his chief interest was in trying to represent the mood and atmosphere of nature, producing studies of the changes in colour which different seasons brought to a particular scene. Water always played an important part in his work, a subject matter which gives his paintings a joyous vibrancy and purity of tone. In 1880 Sisley moved from Sèvres in the Ile de France to Moret-sur-Loing near Fontainebleau, where he lived until his death in 1899. Sisley exhibited at the Salon des Refusés in 1863, the Salon in 1866, and contributed to four major Impressionist exhibitions between 1874 and 1886. Despite a successful one-man show staged by the dealer Durand-Ruel in 1883, Sisley’s paintings found comparatively few buyers during his lifetime. In 1897, at a large retrospective exhibition at the Galerie Georges Petit, not one painting was sold.
FEDERICO ZANDOMENEGHI Venice 1841 – 1917 Paris
Federico Zandomeneghi was a painter of realist landscape and genre, whose early career was spent in Florence as an associate of the Macchiaioli, before he moved to Paris and fell under the spell of the Impressionists. The Zandomeneghi family included a number of leading Venetian artists. Federico’s father and uncle, followers of Canova, were the sculptors who created the monument to the great Venetian painter Titian in the Church of Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari. This family heritage exerted an influence upon Federico Zandomeneghi, but he was most inspired by colour and thus decided to become a painter rather than a sculptor. He enrolled at the Accademia de Belle Arti in Venice 1856, where he studied under Molmenti and Grigoletti. However, in order to avoid being drafted into the army of the occupying Austro-Hungarian Imperial forces at the age of eighteen, he fled to Pavia where he enrolled in the University. In 1860 Zandomeneghi took part in Garibaldi’s Expedition of the Thousand to liberate Sicily and was imprisoned when he returned to Venice. His father managed to arrange for Zandomeneghi’s release, but the young Federico was forced to abandon his beloved Venice forever. He settled in Florence in 1862, where he came into contact with the Tuscan Macchiaioli group of painters, who adhered to the principle of plein-air painting, with a particular emphasis on the contrasting effects of light and shadow. In 1874 Zandomeneghi moved to Paris where he would remain for the rest of his life. A familiar face at the Café de la Nouvelle-Athènes, he frequented the Impressionist circle. Zandomeneghi and Degas formed a particularly intimate though turbulent friendship which would last until their deaths in 1917. In a popular anecdote Degas, notorious for his brittle manner, is reputed to have asked Zandomeneghi to sit for him, ‘as he had nothing better to do’. Zandomeneghi’s retort: ‘one does not speak to a Venetian like that’, reveals not only his immense pride in his native artistic heritage but also
that these two curt temperaments, who played such a formative part in late nineteenth century French art, were well matched. ‘Zando’ also became acquainted with Renoir, Pissarro and Sisley. Degas’s insistence encouraged Zandomeneghi to participate in the ground-breaking Impressionist exhibitions of 1879, 1880, 1881 and 1886. The art critic and Decadent novelist Joris Karl Huysmans heralded Zandomeneghi’s talents in a rare moment of warmth: ‘The Independents have found in that conscientious artist, Federico Zandomeneghi, a precious recruit’. The discerning dealer Durand-Ruel championed his art from the 1890s. During the latter part of his career, Zandomeneghi became deeply attached to the medium of pastel, favouring it over oils for its tonal range of colour and soft, luminous effects. He found it particularly evocative in capturing the delicate beauty of the Parisienne. The impact of both Renoir’s passionate female nudes and Degas’s acerbic yet insightful glimpses of modern women bathing, rehearsing and chatting in cafés, homes or brothels is clear. However, Zandomeneghi imbued his studies of women with a greater sense of serene and chaste calm. Zandomeneghi’s paintings and pastels have had a renaissance of acclaim in the PostWar period, initiated in part by a whole room being devoted to him at the XXVI Venice Biennale in 1952. There have been several important exhibitions of his work, including a one-man retrospective at Durand Ruel in 1967 and a group exhibition held in 1984 at the Stair Sainty Matthiesen Gallery, New York, Three Italian Friends of the Impressionists: Boldini, De Nittis, Zandomeneghi. The work of Federico Zandomeneghi is represented in the Galleria del’Arte Moderna, Florence; the Galleria del’Arte Moderna, Milan; the Galleria del’Arte Moderna, Venice and the Musée des Beaux Arts, Plaisance.
2 JEANBAPTISTECAMILLE COROT The harbour of La Rochelle (Le Port de la Rochelle), 1851 Yale University Art Gallery © photo Scala, Florence 3 LÉONAUGUSTIN LHERMITTE Fenaison, goûter, deux figures (The reaper’s rest), 1918 The Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle, County Durham Bridgeman Art Library 4 ÉVA GONZALÈS La matinée rose (la nichée) Musée d’Orsay, Paris © RMN (Musée d’Orsay) / Hervé Lewandowski 5 EUGÈNE BOUDIN The beach at Trouville, c.1870-74. The National Gallery, London © photo Scala, Florence 6 GIUSEPPE DE NITTIS Photograph of Avenue du Bois de Boulogne Bridgeman Art Library La Place du Carrousel: ruines des Tuileries en 1882 Musée du Louvre, Paris Bridgeman Art Library
7 HENRI FANTIN-LATOUR Asters in a vase, 1875 Saint Louis Art Museum, Missouri. Museum Purchase 4:1944 8 ALFRED SISLEY The bridge at Moret-sur-Loing, 1893 Musée d’Orsay, Paris Bridgeman Art Library 13 BERTHE MORISOT Photograph by nineteenth century French School Musée Marmottan Monet, Paris Bridgeman Art Library 14 PAUL-CÉSAR HELLEU Madame Hellou on board the yacht Étoile, Dinard 1903 Photograph © Les Amis de Paul-César Helleu 15 PIERRE-AUGUSTE RENOIR Gabrielle with a rose, 1911 Musée d’Orsay, Paris Bridgeman Art Library Dancing girl with castanets, 1909 The National Gallery, London Bridgeman Art Library
21 HENRI MARTIN The pergola at Marquayrol The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Bridgeman Art Library © ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2011 24 ALBERT MARQUET L’Estaque postcard, c.1875 © photo Scala, Florence 25 HENRI LE SIDANER The table in the sun in the garden, Gerberoy Musée des Beaux-Arts, Nantes Bridgeman Art Library 26 PIERRE BONNARD Portrait of Madame Reine Natanson and Marthe Bonnard, 1928 Musée National d’Art Moderne, Paris Bridgeman Art Library © ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2011 27 ALBERT MARQUET The Port de Bougie, Algiers in sunlight, 1925 The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York © photo Scala, Florence 30 RAOUL DUFY La revue navale au Havre, c.1925 Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris. (C) RMN / Agence Bulloz © ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2011
HENRI LEBASQUE Photographer Dornac/Larousse Archives Bridgeman Art Library RAOUL DUFY Photographer Rogi André (dit), Klein Rosa (1900-1970) © Collection Centre Pompidou /RMN /Georges Meguerditchian © ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2011 PAUL HELLEU Photographer Dornac /Larousse Archives Bridgeman Art Library BIOGR APHIES Photographs of artists courtesy of the Bridgeman Art Library, including: HENRI-EDMOND-PIERRE CROSS portrait by Maximilien Luce © ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2011. PIERRE BONNARD photograph from the Roger-Viollet Collection © ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2011 KEES VAN DONGEN Kees van Dongen and Mme Agan in front of his portrait of her at l’Hotel du Peintre, Villa Said, 1928 (b&w photo) © ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2011 Also:
OPENERS LÉON-AUGUSTIN LHERMITTE Photographer Dornac/Larousse Archives Bridgeman Art Library PIERRE-AUGUSTE RENOIR Renoir in his studio, 1937 Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images
HERMANN MAX PECHSTEIN Hoinkis Ewald portrait of Max Pechstein. Neue Galerie, New York © photo Scala, Florence Photographs from private collections: FEDERICO ZANDOMENEGHI, ALBERT ANDRÉ ACHILLE LAUGÉ, HENRI MARTIN, HENRY MORET
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sion. 8.5 REPRESENTATION OF SELLER
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RICHARD GREEN Richard Green has assisted in the formation and development of numerous private and public collections. These include the following:
The Museum of London
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Francine Clark Art Institute
Speyer am Rhein: Historisches Museum
Aberdeen: City Art Gallery
National Maritime Museum
Boston, MA: Museum of Fine Arts
Winona, MN: Minnesota Marine Art
Altrincham: Dunham Massey (NT)
National Portrait Gallery
Cincinnati, OH: Art Museum
Barnard Castle: Bowes Museum
National Postal Museum
Gainesville, FL: Harn Museum of Art
Worcester, MA: Worcester Art Museum
Bedford: Cecil Higgins Museum
Houston, TX: Sarah Campbell Blaffer
Canterbury: Royal Museum and Art
The Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum
Lydiard Tregoze: Lydiard House
Los Angeles, CA: J Paul Getty Museum
Antwerp: Maisons Rockox
Utrecht: Centraal Museum
Cheltenham: Art Gallery and Museum
Norwich: Castle Museum
New Haven, CT: Yale Center for British
Courtrai: City Art Gallery
Chester: The Grosvenor Museum
Plymouth: City Museum and Art Gallery
Coventry: City Museum
Richmond: London Borough of
New York, NY: Dahesh Museum
Dedham: Sir Alfred Munnings Art
Richmond upon Thames and Orleans
Ocala, FL: The Appleton Museum of Art
Tröense: Maritime Museum
Madrid: Real Academia de Bellas Artes
Omaha, NE: Joslyn Art Museum
Hampshire: County Museums Service
St Helier: States of Jersey (Office)
Pasadena, CA: Norton Simon Museum
Hull: Ferens Art Gallery
Southsea: Royal Marine Museum
Rochester, NY: Genessee County
Dublin: National Gallery of Ireland
Ipswich: Borough Council Museums
Stirling: Stirling Smith Art Gallery and
St Louis, MO: Missouri Historical
Leeds: Leeds City Art Gallery
York: York City Art Gallery
Compiègne: Musée National du Château
Lincoln: Usher Gallery
HOLLAND Amsterdam: Joods Historisch Museum
Durban: Art Museum
Museo Nacional del Prado
Sharon, MA: Kendall Whaling Museum
SWITZERLAND Zurich: Schweizerisches Landesmuseum
Liskeard: Thorburn Museum
Toledo, OH: Toledo Museum of Art
London: Chiswick House (English
Fredericton: Beaverbrook Art Gallery
Ventura County, CA: Maritime Museum
Berlin: Staatliche Kunsthalle
Published by Richard Green for
Ottawa: The National Gallery of Canada
Washington, DC: The National Gallery
Darmstadt: Hessisches Landesmuseum
La Vie en Rose, opening
Department of the Environment
The White House
Wednesday 2nd November 2011.
The Iveagh Bequest, Kenwood
Williamstown, MA: Sterling and
© 2011 All rights reserved.
Karlsruhe: Staatliche Kunsthalle
Photography by Sophie Drury. Catalogue by Susan Morris. Graphic Design by Chris Rees. Printed in England by Butler Tanner & Dennis, Fine Art Services. This book is sold subject to the condition that it shall not, by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, re-sold, hired out or otherwise circulated (without the publisher’s prior consent), in any form of binding or other cover than in which it is published, and without similar condition being imposed on another purchaser. All material contained in this catalogue is subject to the new laws of copyright, December 1989.
RICHARD GREEN FINE PAINTINGS • ESTABLISHED 1955
La Vie en Rose: French Paintings 1840 – 1940