Lot 111
  • 111

Henri Le Sidaner

180,000 - 250,000 USD
187,500 USD
bidding is closed


  • Henri Le Sidaner
  • Soleil couchant sur les maisons, Bruges
  • Signed Le Sidaner and inscribed Bruges (lower left)
  • Oil on canvas


Galeries Georges Petit, Paris
Private Collection, Paris (and sold: Sotheby’s, New York, November 17, 1998, lot 286)
Acquired at the above sale


Yann Farinaux-Le Sidaner, Le Sidaner, L'Oeuvre peint et gravé, Paris, 1989, no. 76, illustrated p. 67
Yann Farinaux-Le Sidaner, Henri Le Sidaner, Paysages intimes, Saint-Rémy-en-l'Eau, 2013, n.n., illustrated in color p. 57

Catalogue Note

Soleil couchant sur les maisons, Bruges is a brilliant example of Le Sidaner’s unique taste for and sensitivity to quiet and poetic beauty: Le Sidaner captures the fleeting beauty of the moment with his acute contemplative sensitivity, an artistic temperament that has come to define his practice. By 1899 figures were still present in most of Le Sidaner’s work, yet the artist was increasingly interested in depicting the atmosphere of a place, whether it be a garden, a city square or a deserted street. Even though there are figures in the present painting, the viewer senses their isolation and their transience. While describing the disappearance of human figures in Le Sidaner’s work, Rémy Le Sidaner notes, “during his stay in Bruges, the number of these figures decreased and, within two or three years, they gradually disappeared” (quoted in Yann Farinaux-Le Sidaner, op. cit., p. 14). As Yann Farinaux-Le Sidaner notes, the artist’s sojourn in Belgium “was a turning-point for Henri Le Sidaner, who traveled to Bruges during the month of July and chose Impressionism as his future working technique” (quoted in ibid., p. 13).

Epitomizing the artist's skillful play with light and color, Soleil couchant sur les maisons, Bruges creates an atmosphere of meditative contemplation. Le Sidaner was fully aware that he wouldn't have time to depict the plays of light and their changing reflections as they materialized, so he instead focused on fully experiencing the moment in order to recreate it more perfectly once it had passed. He would memorize a scene and later reproduce it in the studio. Rémy Le Sidaner recalls, "When my father caught one of these 'special effects', he nodded in my direction and stood there, gazing out towards the horizon, impressing on his mind the scene he had just witnessed" (quoted in ibid., p. 10).