Henri Le Sidaner worked in the realist style, but his love of penumbra and twilight create a poetic and dreamy 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.
Le Sidaner said that no landscape was worth painting unless it was enhanced by some play of light. He experimented with all sources of light, including sunlight, sunset and the illuminating “clair de lune”. The son of a sea captain, he was drawn in particular to the play of light on water.
Henri Le Sidaner is renowned for his serene and intimate outdoor still life scenes featuring a deserted table and chairs with hints of the human figures recently removed. He was drawn to the atmospheric small towns in Normandy, Brittany and Côte d’Azur whose old buildings and architecture were, even then, being slowly threatened with extinction.