Lot 115
  • 115

THÉO VAN RYSSELBERGHE | La vigne en octobre

120,000 - 180,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Théo van Rysselberghe
  • La vigne en octobre
  • signed with the monogram and dated 1912 (lower right)
  • oil on canvas
  • 73.5 by 93.5cm., 29 by 36 3/4 in.
  • Painted in 1912.


Sale: Lempertz, Cologne, 19th June 1959, lot 361
Private Collection, Germany (purchased at the above sale)
Thence by descent to the present owner


Paris, Galerie Druet, 1912, no. 32
Laren, Larense Kunsthandel, Théo van Rysselberghe1913, no. 27
Paris, Galerie Druet, Théo van Rysselberghe, 1913, no. 23
Brussels, La Libre Esthétique, 1913, no. 279
Amsterdam, Stedelijk Museum, (Verkoop)tentoonstelling, 1916-17, no. 257
Brussels, Centre for Fine Arts, Den Haag, Gemeentemuseum, Théo van Rysselberghe, 2006, n.n.


Ronald Feltkamp, Théo van Rysselberghe, Catalogue raisonné, Brussels, 2003, no. 1912-026, illustrated pp. 136, 401

Catalogue Note

Painted in 1912, La vigne en octobre is a wonderfully rich autumnal scene, comprising a harmonious mirage of jewel-like dabs of colour. The turn of the century and the subsequent years marked an important stage within van Rysselberghe’s painterly corpus, as he turned away from the disciplined methods of Neo-Impressionism and started to develop a more individual and fluid style. While La vigne en octobre retains the artist’s signature luminosity, the composition skilfully places the viewer amongst the blossoming field of vines, comprising roots which are conveyed by swirling shapes and curvaceous lines. Our appreciation for the vista ahead, capped by a mauve-tinged sky, is thus wonderfully heightened and the viewer understands van Rysselberghe’s fascination with capturing the subtle effects of light and wind on a landscape. The present work exemplifies van Rysselberghe’s later form of Neo-Impressionism. The rose hues of the foreground, combined with the dark shades of the trees and the shimmering execution of the sky, create an almost abstract effect of pervading colour, rendered in a mosaic pattern. Van Rysselberghe was first confronted with Pointillism, the pioneering technique of the Neo-Impressionist movement, upon seeing Georges Seurat’s seminal Un dimanche après-midi à l'Île de la Grande Jatte at the eighth Impressionist exhibition in Paris in 1886. Reacting against the spontaneous approach of Impressionism, the Neo-Impressionists favoured a precise, methodical application of individual daubs of paint, governed by scientific principles of colour theory. Van Rysselberghe proudly disseminated this movement in his native Belgium. He was also the founder of Les Vingt (The Twenty), a Belgian group comprising twenty progressive painters, sculptors and Brussels who joined together from 1883 to 1893 to exhibit their innovative art. Frequently visiting galleries in Brussels, he was exposed to the work of Paul Cézanne, Paul Gauguin and Vincent van Gogh. This amalgam of artistic influences and his artistic style developing into maturity, by 1900, van Rysselberghe sought to capture a more direct and instinctive depiction of nature. He thus painted with more loosely applied strokes and combined colours with a sense of freedom, a technique which enhanced the imbuement of the gentle movement of light.

La vigne en octobre bursts with a vibrancy that connects with the senses and it was with his landscapes that van Rysselberghe was at his boldest. He once questioned of another Belgian artist: ‘Tell me, is Anna Boch also haunted by light? It prevents me from sleeping and when I see a dark painting, I get seasick’ (letter to Eugène Boch, quoted in Théo van Rysselberghe (exhibition catalogue), Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels, 2006, p. 36, translated from the French).

We thank Olivier Bertrand for providing additional information on this painting which will be included in his Théo Van Rysselberghe Catalogue raisonné.