1865-1935 | French
Pont-Aven, Temps Gris, Brittany
(Pont-Aven, Gray Weather, Brittany)
Signed and dated “G. Loiseau 1923” (lower right)
Oil on canvas
This extraordinary oil on canvas is a painterly tour de force by the celebrated French Post-Impressionist Gustave Loiseau. The painter's highly unique style is distinctly modern, bringing a natural Impressionist style to the brink of colorful abstraction. This work, which captures an overcast day in Pont-Aven, is imbued with the pops of vibrant color and rich textures that exemplify Loiseau's artistic virtuosity.
Loiseau was fascinated with nature throughout his career, and, like many of his contemporaries, found inspiration in the countryside and coastal towns of France. A disciple of Claude Monet, his dedication to painting directly from nature en plein air leant his works a sincerity that set them apart from the other Post-Impressionists. After a period experimenting with Pointillism, Loiseau also developed his signature en trellis or cross-hatching technique, which is used to stunning effect alongside bold, gestural brushwork in the present piece.
Born into a family of Parisian butchers, Loiseau originally intended to enter the family business, and thus received an elementary-level education. Eventually, however, he became an apprentice to a decorator who was a friend of the family. In 1888, Loiseau entered the École des Arts Décoratifs for one year and studied the draughtsmanship that was essential for the young artist to advance his technical skills.
He moved to the artist's haven in Pont-Aven in 1890, where he became attached to Paul Gauguin, Alfred Sisley, and Camille Pissarro. It was at this time that he embarked on his experimentations with Pointillism and Impressionism, eventually developing his own distinctive style. By 1894, Loiseau made the decision to contact Parisian art dealer Paul Durand-Ruel to promote the artist's work to enthusiastic patrons and collectors. This gave Loiseau the freedom to travel, and he did so extensively throughout France. As he approached the end of his career, Loiseau maintained two studios, one on the Quai du Pothuis in Pontoise and the other on the Quai d’Anjou in Paris. From his studio window, he could paint the scenery of these picturesque towns with an earnestness that characterized both his life and career. Today, his works can be found in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, Musée d’Orsay (Paris), and Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), among others.
This important work will be included in the forthcoming Gustave Loiseau catalogue raisonné being prepared by Didier Imbert.
Canvas: 28 1/8" high x 23" wide
Frame: 36 1/2" high x 32 5/8" wide
Exhibition of Contemporary British and Continental Artists, Sydney, National Gallery of New South Wales, 1938, no. 47