Henri Eugène Augustin Le Sidaner (French, 1862-1939) La table d'après-midi, Gerberoy

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Lot 31
Henri Eugène Augustin Le Sidaner (French, 1862-1939) La table d'après-midi, Gerberoy

Sold for £ 189,250 (US$ 233,926) inc. premium
Henri Eugène Augustin Le Sidaner (French, 1862-1939)
signed LE SIDANER lr, oil on canvas
96.5 cm. x 79 cm. (38 x31 1/8 in.)

Footnotes

  • Executed in 1933.

    This work is to be sold with a certificate of authenticity from Monsieur Yann Farineaux, dated December 2002.

    Provenance:
    Paris, Gallerie Charpentier, Exposition Le Sidaner, March 1934.
    Paris, Gallerie Charpentier, Expositon Le Sidaner, February 1939, no.3 in the catalogue.
    Paris, Musée Galliéra, Rétrospective Le Sidaner, no.45 in the catalogue.
    Kaplan Gallery, London.

    Literature:
    L'Echo de Paris, 5 March 1934.
    La Betterave, 25 March 1934.
    Yann Farineaux-Le Sidaner, Le Sidaner, L'oeuvre peint et grave, Paris 1989.

    Artists have often sought to cultivate their own gardens, searching in the floral and arboreal compositions subjects to inspire their own creative work; Claude Monet planned Giverny and Camille Pissarro settled in Eragny. It was around his house and gardens at Gerberoy that Henri Le Sidaner found his greatest subjects for painting. In March 1901, Le Sidaner had rented a cottage at Gerberoy, a small village situated to the east of Rouen, in Normandy. Three years later, he had acquired the building and property and soon work began on both. He became very involved in the embellishing plans alongside the architect and the gardeners - transforming the barn into a studio, adding a pavillion, a ballustrated terrace and other small structures to the grounds - whilst re-designing the garden layout. The garden was certainly inspired by its English counterparts, in what could be seen as a visual reference to the region's historical links with the English crown. Despite the works undertaken, the house remained too cold for the damp winters and Le Sidaner would only enjoy the superb settings of his property from the warmer spring days onwards. Then, he relentlessly set himself to work.

    He often chose to centre his views on his subject of predeliction, a table dressed with a few items remaining from an earlier meal. Here, the main subject becomes the white-clothed table, specked with a few drops of sunlight that have fallen through the overhanging foliage. The still-life of a rose in a bright-coloured bowl and a plate of ripened peaches lie in counterbalance to the clear bottle and glass of white wine placed on the other side of the circular surface. The glassware reaches into the bushes and trees behind, leading the viewer's gaze into the more distant rooftops of the village of Gerberoy below. With the country view extending far beyond the immediate geometry of the table and still-life, Le Sidaner harmonises the human presence with its surrounding landscape. The delight of the overall composition is enhanced by the choice of muted colours, applied onto the canvas in soft strokes of the brush.

    The image in the catalogue raisonne is an early representation of the present work. Following the exhibition in 1934, this work remained in the artist's collection up until his death in 1939. It is most likely that, during this time, the artist reduced the work slightly in size to create a more balanced composition. There are some pentimenti, particularly to the branches and foliage in the upper canvas, softening the whole effect. Such alterations, were not unusual for Le Sidaner, and must have been motivated by his constant search for perfect harmony between his painting and the composition.
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