Rivière de Landerneau, 1897

by Maxime Maufra


DIMENSIONS: (unframed)21.44 x 25.81 in./54.46 x 65.56 cm
SIGNATURE: Signed lower right
MEDIUM: Oil on canvas

The authenticity of this work has kindly been confirmed by Madame Caroline Durand-Ruel Godfroy and will be included in the forthcoming Maxime Maufra digital catalogue critique, currently being prepared.

Catalogue No: 5489 Categories: ,

In 1895 Maufra came under the contract of Paul Durand-Ruel, the leading dealer of the Impressionists. This work was painted two years after the start of this contract which allowed the artist to concentrate on his painting, usually depicting seascapes and cliffs in Brittany and Normandy. Rivière de Landerneau depicts the Elorn river in his native Brittany with quick, loose brushstrokes. This technique captures both the wind as it blows through the trees and the uneven ground of the bankside.

It is testament to the quality of this work that it was owned twice by the Galerie Durand-Rue and then by Sir Rex Arthur Louis Cohen, the managing director of the famous Lewis’s department stores in Liverpool, Manchester and Birmingham.

The artist’s studio;

Galerie Durand-Ruel, Paris, no. 4481 (acquired form the above on 9 December 1897);

Monsieur Bronot Collection (acquired from the above on 23 November 1944);

Galerie Durand-Ruel, Paris, no. 14329 (acquired from the above on 1 February 1945);

Arthur Tooth & Sons Ltd., London, no. 6298 (acquired from the above on 20 June 1961);

Sir Rex Cohen Collection, United Kingdom;

Thence by descent, Private Collection, United Kingdom;

Private Collection, United Kingdom


Maufra first began painting when he turned eighteen years. He was encouraged to do so by two artists from Nantes: the brothers Charles and Alfred Leduc. He did not fully embrace his painting career immediately as he was at this time a businessman; therefore he only painted in his spare moments from 1884 to 1890. It was then that Maufra discovered the Impressionists and was able to display his works at the Paris Salon of 1886. He devoted himself to painting from nature and his favoured spot was along the banks of the Loire valley.


He left Nantes for further up in Brittany, where he met Paul Gauguin (1848-1903) and Paul Serusier (1864-1927). Maufra had his first solo exhibition in Paris in 1894, at Le Barc de Toutteville. Returning from Brittany, he was the first painter to take up residence in the Bateau-Lavoir, a famous Parisian residence for artists.


Notably, Maufra remained an independent artist throughout his life, being influenced by others but always being wholly original in his output, dedicating his oeuvre to recording nature. In his works, he sometimes quoted the pointillist technique of Pissarro or Sisley, whilst he also portrayed the strong colours and powerful drawing of the Pont-Aven school.


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