Titled and stamped with the monogram on the reverse
The authenticity of this work has been confirmed by the Comité Rouault.
Ambroise Vollard, Paris (acquired from the artist)
Private Collection, Paris
Acquired from the above by the present owner circa 1988
Lugano, Museo d'Arte Moderna, Georges Rouault, 1997, no. 52, (titled Sole al tramonto)
Between the years 1930 and 1939, Rouault painted a substantial number of landscapes categorized as "Paysages bibliques" (Biblical landscapes) and "Paysages animés" (landscapes with figures). Created from his imagination rather than direct observation, his landscapes are renowned for the subtle placing of huddled groups of figures in urban settings. With an emphasis on pure color, these pictures demonstrate a serene atmospheric calm. The artist's strong religious faith was the direct and overwhelming influence on these pictures. Rouault proclaimed: "I was like a peasant in the field, attached to my pictorial soil, like the man hanged by his own hempen rope, like an ox under the yoke. Though terribly restless, I never took my nose out of my work save to ascertain the light, the shadow, the half-tint, the curious features of certain pilgrims' faces. I noted forms, colors, fleeting harmonies until I was sure they were so indelibly impressed in my memory that they would stay with me beyond the grave" (quoted in Soliloques, Neuchâtel, Ides et Calendes, 1944, n.p.).
With Rouault's words in mind, Pierre Courthion's insightful comments about the artist's technique are especially apt: "When we examine a Rouault, what strikes us first? Above all, the way the paint has been applied: very thickly and with passion, with great sureness, and with spontaneity... the thickly applied pigment achieves a hitherto unknown degree of energy; every form seems to flow directly from the artist's hand into our own sensibility" (Pierre Courthion, Georges Rouault, New York, 1961, p. 234).
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