Falaises a Varengeville

by Robert Antoine Pinchon

Robert Antoine Pinchon is best known for his Post-Impressionist landscape scenes, favouring en plein air painting to being inside a studio. Born into an artistic family in 1886, Pinchon played a prominent part in the Rouen school of artists. It was in Rouen that Pinchon met the master of Impressionists, Claude Monet, with whom he exhibited in 1903 at the Exposition des Beaux Arts in Rouen. Monet said that Pinchon had ‘a surprising touch in the service of a surprising eye’. Naturally this early contact with Monet had a major impact on Pinchon’s artistic career .

DIMENSIONS: (unframed) 45.0 x 62.0 cm / 17.7 x 24.4 ins
SIGNATURE: Signed lower right
MEDIUM: Watercolour

Catalogue No: 5565 Categories: ,

Titled ‘Falaises a Varengeville (Cliffs at Varengeville), this wonderful little work depicts a ribbon of majestic cliffs unfolding as far as the eye can see. Varengeville-sur-Mer is a pretty Normandy village stretched out along the cliff. Many artists have succumbed to the charm of this paradise.

Private collection, France

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Born on 1st July 1886 in Rouen, France, his father was a playwright and close friend of the
famed writer Guy de Mauspassant, who encouraged Pinchon to explore art as a youth. He began
his studies at the Lycée Pierre-Corneille in Rouen in 1901, where he met both Marcel Duchamp
and Pierre Dumont. In 1903, Pinchon took part in the Éxposition des Beaux Arts in Rouen
alongside Claude Monet. His work was noticed by the Impressionist art collector François
Depeaux (1853–1920), at whose home he had the opportunity to converse many times with
Albert Lebourg, Camille Pissarro and Claude Monet.

Notably, Monet characterized him as “a surprising touch in the service of a surprising
eye”Pinchon participated in the Salon d’Automne in 1907, where he and his contemporaries
were lauded as the second group of talented artists to emerge after French Impressionists such
as Claude Monet. In 1914, Pinchon was called to serve in World War I, where he was wounded
several times being taken as a prisoner of war by Germany. The artist managed to escape
captivity and returned to Rouen in 1918. He went on to re-establish his career, and exhibited
works alongside Pierre Bonnard and Albert Marquet, amongst others.

Pinchon died on 3rd January 1943 in Bois-Guillaume, France. His works are now held in prestigious museums in
France including in the collection of the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Rouen.

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