Henri le Sidaner
- Henri Le Sidaner
- LA TABLE D'AUTOMNE
signed Le Sidaner (lower left)
- oil on canvas
- 81.6 by 100cm., 32 1/8 by 39 3/8 in.
Galeries Georges Petit, Paris
Géo Davey, Paris
Richard Green, London
Private Collection, London
Richard Green, London
Acquired from the above by the present owner in 1998
Paris, Galeries Georges Petit, Georges Seurat, 1927
Paris, Musée Galliéra, Rétrospective Le Sidaner, 1948, no. 19
Beauvais, Musée départemental de l'Oise, Henri Le Sidaner en son jardin de Gerberoy de 1901 à 1939, 2001, illustrated in colour in the catalogue
Le Sidaner developed his distinctive idiom during the 1890s, under the influence of Symbolism. The poignant fin-de-siècle mood of Maeterlinck and Verhaeren, of Lévy-Dhurmer and Knopff set the tone of his oeuvre. On a formal level, he found a suitably harmonious, all-over treatment for his compositions in Neo-Impressionism.
Critics have frequently described Le Sidaner's works in terms of musicality and silence. Always in a 'minor key', its subtle harmonies are seen to evoke a wistful mood that is exacerbated, as Paul Signac notes, by the absence of figures: 'His oeuvre displays a taste for tender, soft and silent atmospheres. Gradually, he even went so far as to eliminate all human presence from his pictures, as if he feared that the slightest human form might disturb their muffled silence' (quoted in Y. Farinaux-Le-Sidaner, op,cit., p. 31). Instead, the artist focused on the architectural and domestic environments as well as their accoutrements man creates for himself. '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' (C. Mauclair, Henri Le Sidaner, Paris, 1928, p. 12).
The home and gardens Le Sidaner created at Gerberoy provided his most enduring theme. His first major composition of Le Déjeuner, a table setting for three in his shady courtyard, dates from the year of his arrival in the picturesque village (see: Y. Farinaux-Le-Sidaner, op,cit., no. 115). The present work is perhaps the crowning achievement of the numerous variations executed ensuing decades. The domestic intimacy and muted joy summoned up by his trellises, fruit and colourful ceramics bear out Maurice Hamburger's judgement that 'Le Sidaner has sensed that beauty, like happiness, consists above all in inner harmony, calm and simplicity' (Le Soir, 1930).