- Auguste Herbin
- Signed herbin (lower right)
- Oil on board
- 39 3/8 by 27 1/4 in.
- 100 by 69.5 cm
Johanna & Ludovic Lawrence, Jerusalem (acquired before 1975)
Bequest of the above in 1998
Few exhibitions have influenced artistic practice so decisively as the 1907 Cézanne retrospective at the Paris Salon d'Automne. In its wake, a younger generation of artists, including Herbin, shifted directions radically, opening up the arteries of Modernism. Nature morte, a rare example of a still-life from the artist's iconic Cubist period, is an almost virtual translation of Cézanne's famous call to treat nature with the "cylinder, the cone and the sphere." While the subject of calla lilies and foliage is Herbin's own, Cézanne's legacy permeates the entire composition, from the taut, fractured structure of the composition to the short, staccato brush strokes. Even the choice of vantage point and slight upward tilt of the table top create a decidedly "Cézannien" atmosphere. Yet Herbin paints Nature morte with tremendous authenticity and originality. Geneviève Claisse, in her catalogue raisonné of Auguste Herbin, states in her forward, ". . .[the] bearer of an ethical tradition of work and social duty, Herbin approached each painting as a new creation in its own right. There was no self-indulgence permitted, no deliberate repetition, no nod to critics, patrons, institutions nor, of course the market" (Geneviève Claisse, Herbin, Catalogue raisonné de l'oeuvre peint, 1993, Lausanne. n.p).
Fig. 1 Paul Cézanne, Seven Apples, 1877-78, oil on canvas, Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Victor Thaw, New York