La Table, Gerberoy, 1901

by Henri Eugene Augustin Le Sidaner

DIMENSIONS: (unframed) 14.75 x 14 inches (37.5 x 35.5 cms)
SIGNATURE: Signed ‘Le Sidaner’ lower right
MEDIUM: coloured crayon, watercolour and pencil on paper

Catalogue No: 4808 Categories: ,

This atmospheric drawing by Henri Le sidaner shows a table set for an intimate dinner in the middle of a picturesque rural village in France. This village is Gerberoy, in the Oise department of Northern France, where the artist had a home for years. In 1900 he first visited the tiny village which became the inspiration for many of his paintings and where he painted many of his beautiful still lifes. He described the town as a “haven of peace” and also described it as being “seeped in history and gentle nostalgia.” This is probably due to its crucial location both during the battles between the Normans and the English in the 11th Century, and the Hundred Years’ War in the 14th and 15th Century.

Provenance:

Sale, Mr Bellier, Paris, March 19, 1937, lot 209;
Count Arnauld Doria, Paris (acquired during the above sale);
Then by descent, Private collection, France;
Private collection, United Kingdom

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Biography:

Henri Le Sidaner was born in Mauritius and moved to Paris at the age of 18, becoming a pupil of Cabanel at the École des Beaux-Arts in 1884. The artist exhibited in Paris for the first time in 1887 at the Salon des Artistes Français. He also exhibited in Paris at the Salon de la Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts and in 1930 was appointed a member of the Institut at the Academie des Beaux-Arts.

Le Sidaner was interested in, and influenced by, the colour theories and pointillism of Neo-Impressionism that the 1900s brought with it. More specifically, the style of Eugene Carrière (which is characterised by indeterminate colours and a taste for a certain misty atmosphere) was admired by Le Sidaner and the piece seen here can be regarded as a development of Carrière’s technique. The focus for both Sidaner and Carrière was on light and how it could be shown on canvas to give objects a three dimensional effect as well as a sensation of calm and of atmosphere.

He worked in the realist style, but his love of penumbra and twilight create a poetic and dreamlike quality to his technical expertise. There is also undoubtedly an influence of optics on Le Sidaner’s work. The atmosphere of his paintings, whether they are landscapes or still lifes result from both his delicate style of painting and his choice of subjects.

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