Henri le Sidaner
- Henri Le Sidaner
- La Table près de la fenêtre, reflets
- Signed Le Sidaner (lower right)
- Oil on canvas
- 36 5/8 by 29 in.
- 93 by 73.7 cm
Galerie Georges Petit, Paris
M. Knoedler & Co., Paris
A. L. Kramer, Dallas (acquired circa 1925)
Private Collection, New York (by descent from the above)
Private Collection, Europe
Sale: Sotheby's, New York, May 9, 2001, lot 347
Richard Green, London
Private Collection, Europe (acquired from the above)
Yann Farinaux-Le Sidaner, Le Sidaner, l'oeuvre peint et gravé, Milan, 1989, no. 474, illustrated p. 186
Le Sidaner developed his distinctive visual language in Paris during the 1890s, under the influence of Symbolism. The fin-de-siècle mood of Maurice Denis, Lucien Lévy-Dhurmer and Pierre Bonnard set the poetic tone for his body of work. On a formal level, Le Sidaner found a suitably harmonious treatment for his compositions with the Post-Impressionist technique of lively, divided brushwork.
In April 1901 Le Sidaner moved to Gerberoy, "seized with a burning ambition. He longed to plan a garden of his own, in which the landscape would be designed by him personally and in which he could achieve his favorite light effects" (Yann Farinaux-Le Sidaner, op. cit., p. 14). Le Sidaner lived in Gerberoy until his death in 1939, and throughout the 1920s, he painted a variety of extravagantly arranged tables at different times of day. This type of still life became the artist's most important theme during the last two decades of his career.
Epitomizing Le Sidaner's skillful play with light and color, La Table près de la fenêtre, reflets is an intimate portrayal of a sumptuous table-setting at mid-day. With his expert depiction of glass bottles, flowers, silver, and china, rendered with a jewel-toned palette, Le Sidaner has achieved an effect of striking luminosity.
The artist was not alone in his sensitivity to quiet and poetic beauty. As Paul Signac noted, "His entire work is influenced by a taste for tender, soft and silent atmospheres. Gradually, he even went so far as to eliminate from his paintings all human figures, as if he feared that the slightest human presence might disturb their muffled silence" (quoted in ibid., p. 31). Instead, the artist focused on the architectural and domestic environment that people create for themselves. "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 through his works. Deserted they may be, but never empty" (C. Mauclair, Henri Le Sidaner, Paris, 1928, p. 12).
Fig.1 Pierre Bonnard, Still Life in Front of the Window, 1931, oil on canvas. Muzeul National de Arta al României, Bucharest