Marthe Lebasque (the artist's daughter)
Private Collection, France
Richard Green, London
Acquired from the above by the present owner
Painted in Sanary, near Toulon in the South of France, the present work is a superb effervescence of vivid blues, oranges, and greens. Lebasque captures his model, possibly his oldest daughter Marthe, enjoying a lazy afternoon on a bench in the shade while a young girl, probably Lebasque’s youngest daughter, Nono, is passing by in the background.
Monumental in scale and subject matter, the present work highlights both the artist’s fascination with the portrayal of women and his ability to render the beauty and peacefulness of their natural surroundings. As Lisa Banner has observed, “Intimism, a term which best describes Lebasque’s painting, refers to the close domestic subject matter, supremely realized by Bonnard and Vuillard, in such a manner as to convey the personal nature of his response to the thing painted, and the universal familiarity of home and family. There is a sense of calm infused in Lebasque’s paintings which celebrates the fullness and richness of life. In his placid scenes of gardens and beaches, terraces and dinner tables, Lebasque portrays his family in particular, but in such a way that he appeals to a larger sense of family gathering and devotion.” (Lisa Banner, Lebasque, San Francisco, 1986, p. 12).
Although the present work, in its subject and virtuosity in depicting luxuriant colors, is reminiscent of the idyllic compositions of Bonnard Lebasque pursued his own method of painting to convey the quietude and happiness of domestic life.
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