- Louis Abel-Truchet
- La fête forain, Place Pigalle
- signed Abel Truchet and inscribed Paris (lower right)
- oil on canvas
- 32 5/8 by 32 5/8 in.
- 82.9 by 82.9 cm
Sale: Christie's, New York, May 21, 1986, lot 66, illustrated
Sale: Sotheby's, New York, April 24, 2002, lot 100, illustrated
Acquired at the above sale
In the present work, Abel-Truchet portrays an evening at la fête forain in the Place Pigalle, a public square at the foot of Montmarte surrounded by cafés and artist studios. His use of bold colors and contours as well as his spontaneous brushwork captures the energy and excitement of the scene, and is a testament to the influence of Impressionism on his body of work. Just below a Ferris Wheel in the background whirls a colorful carousel, and in nearby stall number 30 stand a clown, a body-builder, two ballerinas, and a parrot. The enthusiastic crowd prismatically multiplies under a myriad of flickering lights, which showcase the awe-inspiring novelties of electricity and the gas lamp. Perhaps the most arresting figures in this scene are the two unaccompanied, tightly corseted, fashionable women who parade through the foreground. Their thickly applied makeup suggests a penchant for artifice among the night’s visitors to the Place Pigalle and its surroundings, including the Moulin Rouge, just down the road. Such chronicles of the amusements enjoyed by the French public at the turn of the century remain among the most distinguished compositions of Abel-Truchet’s career.