Lot 3
  • 3

Georges Seurat

Estimate
700,000 - 1,000,000 USD
Sold
509,000 USD
bidding is closed

Description

  • Georges Seurat
  • À Barbizon
  • Stamped with the signature (lower right)
  • Oil on panel

Provenance

Félix Fénéon, Paris

Israel Collection, Paris

Wildenstein & Co., Inc., New York (acquired from the above on January 12, 1953)

Acquired from the above on May 15, 1956

Exhibited

Paris, Galerie Bernheim-Jeune, Rétrospective Georges Seurat,1908-09, no. 16

New York, Wildenstein & Co., Inc., Seurat & His Friends, 1953, no. 12

New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Seurat, Drawings and Oil Sketches from New York Collections, 1977, no. 44

London, The Royal Academy of Arts & Washington, D.C., National Gallery of Art, Post-Impressionism: Cross-Currents in European and American Paintings, 1880-1906, 1979-1980, no. 196, illustrated in the London catalogue (no. 85, illustrated in the Washington D.C. catalogue)

 

Literature

J. de Laprade, Georges Seurat, Monaco, 1945, illustrated p. 9

J. de Laprade, Seurat, Paris, 1951, p. 38

H. Dorra & John Rewald, Seurat: l'oeuvre peint, biographie et catalogue critique, Paris, 1959, no. 66, illustrated p. 63

C. M. de Hauke, Seurat et son oeuvre, vol. I, Paris, 1961, no. 24, illustrated p. 15

Fiorello Minervino, L'Opera completa di Seurat, Milan, 1972, no. 18, illsutrated p. 92 and in color pl. III B

A. Parinaud, Les Peintres et leur école Barbizon: les origines de l'Impressionisme, Paris, 1994, illustrated in color p. 130

Catalogue Note

Landscape was the predominant genre in Seurat’s works of the early 1880s, and he often made painting trips to villages outside Paris as well as to the suburbs in search of subjects.  Seurat’s early oils and drawings were influenced by Corot, and several of the places that he visited were associated with the older artist, including Mortefontaine, Ville d’Avray and Barbizon, where the present work was executed.  A town in the Ile-de-France region, Barbizon is located some sixty kilometers south-east of Paris, on the edge of the Fontainebleau Forest.  The village attracted a number of painters during the nineteenth century, who made their home there and came to be known as the Barbizon school, including artists such as Corot, Millet and Théodore Rousseau. Influenced by these artists and their rural subject-matter, Seurat often depicted scenes of everyday life, populating his landscapes with figures such as farmers, mowers or stone breakers working in the fields. In other compositions, such as in À Barbizon, he focused entirely on the landscape, building a sense of space and depth by juxtaposing bright and cool tonalities.

À Barbizon
belongs to a series of small-scale paintings on panel that Seurat produced around this time. Writing about these works from 1881-83, Alain Madeleine-Perdrillat observed that "he worked at painting, proceeding methodically as usual, making what he called 'croquetons', namely, oil studies painted on wooden panels of identical format (around 16 cm high and 25 cm long)… The execution of these little paintings, which leave the motions of the hand visible, gives them an evident modernity; and it is just this resolute search for an exclusively pictorial truth that accounts for their marvelous freshness (not always to be found in Seurat’s larger formats). These were not studies of specific details made in view of a larger work... Nor were they academic sketches… His croquetons are independent of any more ambitious project.  They are works in their own right" (Alain Madeleine-Perdrillat, Seurat, Geneva, 1990, pp. 36-38).
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