Lot 511
  • 511

Henri Lebasque

120,000 - 180,000 GBP
290,500 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Henri Lebasque
  • L'Escarpolette
  • signed H. Lebasque and dated 1906  (lower right)
  • oil on canvas


Mme Edmond Moussié (probably)
Galerie Georges Petit, Paris (acquired in 1927)
Private Collection, Reims
M. Chain
Private Collection, London
Sale: Sotheby's London, 27th June 1990, lot 120
Private Collection (purchased at the above sale)
Acquired from the above by the present owner in 1993


Paris, Exposition de la Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts, 1906, no. 742
Paris, Galerie Georges Petit, Lebasque, March 1927, no. 15
Paris, Grand Palais, Salon d'Automne, November-December 1931, no. 1252
Paris, Musée Galliéra, Exposition Rétrospective Henri Lebasque, June-July 1952, no. 21 (dated 1905)


Paul Jamot, Les Salons de 1906, 'La Peinture à la Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts', in La Gazette, May 1906, illustrated p. 383
Adolphe Tabarant, 'Henri Lebasque', in L'Art et les artistes, 1920, no. 10, p. 18
Paul Vitry, Henri Lebasque, Paris, 1928, mentioned p. 134
Denise Bazetoux, Henri Lebasque. Catalogue raisonné, Neuilly-sur-Marne, 2008, vol. I, no. 171, illustrated p. 93 & in colour p. 11

Catalogue Note

Henri Lebasque is celebrated for the intimate manner in which he recreated the places and people most dear to him. The present work depicts his daughters Marthe and Nono – two of his favourite subjects. Marthe would later recall how Lebasque only turned to professional models full time once the two sisters had left home and were no longer readily available to sit for him. She remembers the spontaneous process in which her father worked: ‘I remember well Lagny, where we settled in 1900. I was then six years old. We would set out walking for entire days and at the whim of his fancy my father would set up his easels’ (quoted in Lisa A. Banner & Peter M. Fairbanks, Lebasque 1865-1937, Bedford, 1986 p. 112). Lebasque relied on his instinct, perfectly illustrated by the theme of a swing, as Lebasque reacts to a fleeting moment: his younger daughter flying through the air with her dress billowing behind her. L’Escarpolette also looks back to Lebasque’s keen experimentation with light and shadow during the 1890s. For the present work he has made the bold decision to have his primary subjects in the foreground but cast in shadow and instead have the verdant background caught in high sunlight. This emphasis on the natural surroundings achieves the effect of a predominantly still and quiet scene despite the free movement of Nono on the swing. L’Escarpolette is imbued with a sense of peace, a fitting testament to the placid nature of the artist who, as his daughter fondly remembers, ‘was content in the midst of his family’ (op. cit. p. 113).