Chateau a Bievres

by Lucien Adrion

P.O.A.

DIMENSIONS: (unframed) 72.00 cms x 58.00 cms (28.35 ins x 22.83 ins)
SIGNATURE: Signed
MEDIUM: Oil on canvas

Catalogue No: 3376 Categories: ,

This work is a lovely impressionistic depiction of a chateau in the town of Bievres, in the Ile de France region, just southwest of Paris. The large house is surrounded by lush greenery in the form of flowers, bushes, trees, and grass with a figure eight shaped drive in front. In the foreground two men can be seen to be working on the driveway, perhaps raking gravel. On the left pyramidal peaks in black, and bold orange vertical stripes on a taupe background suggest an outbuilding or elaborate pergola.

The lawn is divided into three ovoid sections, one on the far left, one in the middle abutting the house and one on the right. The left and middle sections of lawn are edged in reddish-orange flowers. Large trees punctuate the work on the left foreground and the upper branches of yet another lean into the foreground on the right. Two trees in the middle ground of the painting frame the central section and pediment of the house, acting to highlight and contrast the architectural elements present in the otherwise sumptuously green landscape.

The house itself is in the classical style and comprised of three floors. The windows on the first floor are floor to ceiling and flanked by large grey shutters. The house is divided into three wings with a central section topped by a pediment. The sloped roof appears to be a classic French blue-slate with several chimneys sticking up from it. On the extreme left the pointed peak of a tower is visible from behind the façade of the chateau. The house is a yellow colour with white accents summoning images of limestone chateaux popular with the eighteenth century French elite.

Horizontal brushstrokes in the centre section of the chateau denote quoins on either end of the slightly protruding middle section of the house. These seemingly small strokes add a great deal of dimension to the work and allow the viewer to more fully see the chateau.

The brushstrokes, though loose, none-the-less present an incredibly detailed scene of an elegant chateau in the verdant French countryside. Though best known for his Parisian scenes, Adrion here demonstrates his ability to capture nature, all the while reminding us of his dominant style in his very faithful and detailed rendering of the beautiful chateau.

Provenance

Anna Ning Fine Art, until 2006;
Private Colleciton, Hong Kong

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Biography

Adrion left his native town of Strasbourg in 1907 and moved to Paris to work as a draftsman to the fashion industry. He travelled to London, Munich and Frankfurt. When he visited Germany the outbreak of the First World War meant he was demobilised in Berlin. Here Adrion studied at the studio of Hermann Struck (1876-1944), a well-known artist in etchings and engravings who was also the master of artists such as Marc Chagall (1887-1985) and Lesser Ury (1861-1931). Adrion remained in Berlin until after the end of the First World War, and returned to Strasbourg in 1919.

His signed lithographs were a success and monetarily fuelled his travels back to Paris. Georges Chéron an art dealer who also represented artists like Amadeo Modigliani and Foujita, staged a One-man Show of Adrion’s work in February 1921 and represented him henceforth. In the neighbourhood of Montparnasse, Adrion associated with young Eastern European painters such as Chaime Soutine (1893-1943), Pinchus Krémegne (1890-1981) and Michel Kikoine (1892-1968) who were to comprise the École de Paris Group.

The artist was greatly appreciated for his crowded street scenes around Paris. For example, the critic Galtier-Boissiére, (1891-1966) wrote, “Il a le sens du mouvement des foules, du mouvement de la vie.” (He has a feeling for the movement of crowds, the movement of life.) There is a distinct shift in Adrion’s later style, when bored with his life in Paris he left his agent Chéron for Normandy and focused on painting landscapes. These were again successful and gained great popularity. His paintings are not only in French collections but throughout Europe and the United States