Le Sidaner rented a small cottage in the picturesque fortress town, eventually purchasing it in 1904. Situated sixty-five miles northwest of Paris on the border between Picardy and Normandy, Gerberoy is notable for its quaint blend of brick frame and timber homes and its cobblestone streets. The property he acquired was ideal for the ambitious plans he had for remodeling the space and extending it, which he did in 1910. These included an extension of the main house, a pavilion, studio barn, tower and extensive gardens. Like Monet's home and garden in Giverny, Le Sidaner’s home in Gerberoy was carefully constructed and arranged to provide endless inspiration and stimulating new subject matter. He paid particular attention to the flower garden in the courtyard, aiming to create harmony between the house and gardens, the outdoor space flowing indoors and vice-versa.
The present work was painted at the height of his artistic prowess and sets a tender and atmospheric tone. A characteristic sense of understated mystery pervades, a result of his Symbolist roots. The beautifully arranged table still life awaits as dusk descends on the courtyard and the lights from inside the house start to flicker. The artist meditates on the subject of light and color, the yellow cups in the foreground mirror the warmth of the windows whilst the roses on the table balance those in the foliage behind. The carefully constructed still life, set outdoors, is typical of Le Sidaner's oeuvre of this time as is the complete lack of figures: “he considered that the silent harmony of things is enough to evoke the presence of those who live among them. Indeed, such presences are felt throughout his works. Deserted they may be but never empty” (Camille Mauclair, Henri Le Sidaner, Paris, 1928, p. 12).
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