- Emile Claus
- Le Saule
- signed Em. Claus (lower left); inscribed Junij / J.D / E.C. (on the reverse)
- oil on canvas
Thence by descent
From 1883, Claus painted at Astene, near Deinze, on the banks of the river Lys in an old hunting pavilion which he later turned into his home, Zonneschijn (Sunshine). It was here that he turned to plein air painting under the influence of Claude Lemonnier, who encouraged him to break free from academic constraints and to temper his naturalism with a more colorful and luminous palette. Claus spent winters in Paris from 1889 through 1891 and developed lasting friendships with Impressionist painters such as Henri Martin, Henri Le Sidaner and Anders Zorn. This would have a significant impact on his painterly style, as illustrated by the present work of 1904, just as travel through Spain and North Africa would impact his color palette, and laid the foundation for Claus’s connection to neo-Impressionism and Zonneschijn’s centrality to the Flemish school of Luminist painters.