372
372

PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE COLLECTION, LONDON

Vincent van Gogh
L'ALLÉE AUX DEUX PROMENEURS
Estimation
400 000600 000
Lot. Vendu 530,500 GBP (Prix d’adjudication avec commission acheteur)
ACCÉDER AU LOT
372

PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE COLLECTION, LONDON

Vincent van Gogh
L'ALLÉE AUX DEUX PROMENEURS
Estimation
400 000600 000
Lot. Vendu 530,500 GBP (Prix d’adjudication avec commission acheteur)
ACCÉDER AU LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Impressionist and Modern Day Sale Afternoon session

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Londres

Vincent van Gogh
1853 - 1890
L'ALLÉE AUX DEUX PROMENEURS
oil on panel
31 by 39cm., 11 1/4 by 15 5/8 in.
Painted in the summer of 1883.
Lire le rapport d'état Lire le rapport d'état

The authenticity of this work has been confirmed by the Van Gogh Museum.

Provenance

Galerie B. Houthakker, Amsterdam
C. Bakker, Hilversum
Parisot, Paris
Sale: Christie's London, 2nd December 1986, lot 312
Private Collection, Germany
Acquired by the present owner in 2012

Bibliographie

Jacob-Baart de la Faille, Vincent Van Gogh, Belgium, 1939, no. 202, illustrated p. 164
Jacob-Baart de la Faille, The Works of Vincent Van Gogh: His Paintings and Drawings, Amsterdam, 1970, no. F191a, illustrated p. 202
Paolo Lecaldano, Tout l'œuvre peint de Van Gogh 1881-88, Paris, 1971, vol. I, no. 217, illustrated p. 107
Jan Hulsker, The New Complete Van Gogh, Paintings, Drawings, Sketches, Amsterdam, 1977, no. 950, illustrated p. 209
Inigo Walther & Rainer Metzger, Vincent van Gogh, The Complete Paintings, Cologne, 1989, vol. I, illustrated in colour p. 130

Description

L’allée aux Deux Promeneurs was likely one of the final works produced by Vincent Van Gogh during the period of recuperation following the split from his lover Sien Hoornik, which was spent at his parents’ house in Nuenen from December 1883 to November 1885. This work encapsulates some of the most celebrated aesthetic attributes of the artist’s early production, its earthy colours and isolated figures reflecting his own personal melancholy of the time. The composition is beautifully constructed with heavy, marked brushstrokes that nod to his parallel talents as an expressive draughtsman. The distinctive handling of the paint and subtle variances of colour are archetypal Van Gogh, and the flattening of the pictorial plane with a lattice of brushmarks anticipates the advance of Modernism, and represents a witty upending of that classic perspectival tool, the receding path.

The genre of landscape held a particular significance for the artist for its relationship to the politics behind his first masterpiece, The Potato Eaters, completed earlier that same year. We have a tantalising glimpse of this humble sensibility in letter 499: ‘How rightly it was said of Millet: his peasants seem to be painted with the soil he sows’. Van Gogh was not merely painting the local people as a voyeur, but hoping and trying  to express a profound empathy with them. This was achieved through the exploration of landscape, as well as through portraits of peasants at work. A visit from the landscape artist Willem Wenckebach in July of 1885 no doubt encouraged him to focus on this genre and the two figures in the present work may well have been inspired by the gentle companionship he had finally discovered during this visit. 

It is also evident from the letters that when his mind was not occupied with The Potato Eaters, Van Gogh focussed on landscapes: ‘Lately I have made several studies outdoors, of the autumn landscape’ (letter 537), ‘I hope that the painting of those potato eaters will progress a bit. Besides that, am also working hard on a red sunset. To paint peasant life one has to be master of such an enormous number of things’ (letter 495). Van Gogh’s relief at completing his masterpieces of this period is palpable through these letters and indeed he soon resolves to move to Antwerp in order to establish his reputation as an artist. The avenue of poplars is a recurring motif and features in numerous other works of this period.  It would appear to have been a subject that particularly interested him, for he took a more brightly coloured version of this work with him to Antwerp as part of his portfolio (Leon Janse, Hans Luijten and Nienke Bakker (ed.), Vincent van Gogh, The Letters, vol. III, illustrated in colour p. 307) and sketched the same scene in a letter to his brother Theo (ibid illustrated p. 315, see fig. 1).

Impressionist and Modern Day Sale Afternoon session

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Londres