- Henri Lebasque
SAINT-TROPEZ, AU JARDIN EN ÉTÉ (Pierre et Nono sous la treille)
Signed Lebasque (lower right)
- Oil on canvas
Sale: Christie's, London, July 2, 1974, lot 88
Private Collection, Buenos Aires, Argentina (acquired at the above sale)
Sale: Christie's, London, February 7, 2001, lot 152
Denise Bazetoux, Henri Lebasque, Catalogue raisonné, Neuilly-sur-Marne, 2008, vol. I, no. 1211, illustrated p. 297
Painted in the South of France, the present work is a superb effervescence of vivid yellows, oranges, and greens, with dappled sunlight enlivening the scene. Lebasque's models include a young woman directly engaging the viewer, his daughter Nono, who spends her lazy afternoon in the shade of a grape vine while the artist's young son, Pierre, enjoys a taste of the cool fruit on a hot day 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).
The present work, in its subject and virtuosity in depicting luxuriant colors and a lush still life at near right, is reminiscent of the idyllic compositions of Bonnard, but Lebasque pursued his own method of painting to convey the quietude and happiness of domestic life.
Fig 1. Pierre Bonnard, La porte fenêtre or Matinée au Cannet, 1932, oil on canvas, Private Collection