Marthe et Pierre Lebasque dans un intérieur highlights both the artist's fascination with the portrayal of subjects in interiors and his ability to render the beauty and peacefulness of their quotidian surroundings. As Lisa Banner observes, ‘Intimism, a term which best describes Lebasque's painting, refers to the close domestic subject matter, supremely realized by Bonnard and Vuillard, in such a manner as to convey the personal nature of his response to the thing painted, and the universal familiarity of home and family’ (Lisa A. Banner, Lebasque, 1865-1937, San Francisco, 1985, p. 12). She continues, ‘Lebasque's vision of life led him to concentrate upon intimate domestic scenes and close, interior compositions. He was hailed as the painter of 'Joy and Light' by art critics and curators of the Louvre in his later life. But Lebasque's primary concerns were with simple expression of sensuous surface... He achieved an intimate manner of painting those scenes and people most dear to him, which was replete with his personal delight in form and color, heightened by his contact with fellow painters Matisse and Bonnard, but characteristically his own’ (ibid p. 20).
The first owner of this work was Swiss industrialist Emil Staub Terlinden who avidly began collecting predominantly French paintings ranging from the Impressionists, Nabis and Fauves from 1916. Highlights of his collection included works by Paul Cézanne such as La Bouteille de menthe now in the National Gallery of Art Washington, DC and Edouard Manet’s Vase de fleurs in the Musée d'Orsay in Paris.
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