132
132

PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE FRENCH COLLECTION

Paul Sérusier
PROMENADE DU DIMANCHE (ROBES JAUNES)
Estimate
120,000180,000
JUMP TO LOT
132

PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE FRENCH COLLECTION

Paul Sérusier
PROMENADE DU DIMANCHE (ROBES JAUNES)
Estimate
120,000180,000
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Impressionist and Modern Art

|
Paris

Paul Sérusier
1864 - 1927
PROMENADE DU DIMANCHE (ROBES JAUNES)
signed P. Sérusier and dated 1894 (on the reverse)
tempera on canvas
36,8 x 93,2 cm; 14 1/2 x 36 3/4 in.
Painted in 1894.
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The authenticity of this work has been confirmed by the Comité Paul Sérusier.

Provenance

Sale: Hôtel des ventes, Limoges, 1988
Private collection, France (acquired at the above sale)
Thence by descent to the present owner

Literature

Marcel Guicheteau, Paul Sérusier, Paris, 1976, no. 99, illustrated p. 217 (titled Les Promeneuses du dimanche)

Catalogue Note

Paul Sérusier, Promenade du Dimanche, two paintings

"Sérusier's character leads him to search for the timeless, the strange, the mysterious — elements that he finds in abundance in Brittany, which is filled with poetry and a timeless charm. He paints rugged landscapes, with immutable lines, brought to life by peasants [...] who seem to be natural emanations of the landscape. Sérusier does not individualize them; rather, he emphasizes their universal, ageless character. [...] The figures have open eyes but blank stares; they are focused inwards, in an enclosed place, isolated in a meditation that sometimes gives them a spectral look. Fixed in place while carrying out their everyday actions, in symbiosis with their landscapes, the figures take on a Symbolist dimension." (Catherine Puget, 'L'Itinéraire de Sérusier' in Paul Sérusier et la Bretagne, Museum of Pont-Aven, 1991, p. 4-5.)

In 1891, Paul Sérusier went to Brittany for the first time, moving between Pont-Aven, Le Pouldu and Huelgoat. There he founded the Nabis, a group made up of young, brilliant artists such as Maurice Denis, who were passionate about esotericism, mystery and the desire to return to the roots of "primitive" art. Thus, from 1891 to 1893, Sérusier spent three summers in a row in Huelgoat, a small village in the Breton hinterland with a rich history of tales and legends. There he met Gabriela Zapolska, a young journalist, actress, novelist, literary and theatre critic who became his fiancée. From 1893 on, Paul and Gabriela stayed at the Hôtel du Pin Noir in Châteauneuf. During the following winter, Paul began to decorate Gabriela's Parisian flat. Through Promenade du dimanche (Robes noires) and Promenade du dimanche (Robes jaunes), which complemented this decor, he wanted to bring to mind the memory of the young woman on a summer Sunday in Brittany, when women would walk around after Mass in their Sunday best. His stays in the Cornouaille countryside, with its dense forests, granite rocks and steep ravines, provided him with an inexhaustible source of inspiration. Seeking to refresh his palette, due undoubtedly to his recent romantic encounter and the challenge of decorating a space, here the artist abandons the lush colours of his paintings of Le Pouldu and Pont-Aven in favour of a new range of sober, delicate colours. The subtle shades of grey and green, illuminated by yellow and ochre marks, predominate in this mysterious landscape animated by vertical tree trunks that punctuate the composition. Like the Japanese prints he so admired, the artist adopted a narrow frame, eliminating the trivial and endowing these works with a universal, timeless dimension. The woman with the bun was probably inspired by Gabrielle Zapolska, a beautiful, elegant woman, moving through this dreamlike, rural frieze. By seeking to adorn the interiors of their contemporaries, the Nabis, whose aim was to create a modern decor, often associated women with nature in their decorative friezes. The female figure, which represented a fascinating and unsettling mystery for the Symbolists, appears in the Nabis' decorative work, rooted in the era thanks to her fashionable attire, while remaining in symbiosis with nature, in a time where there seemed to be a slower pace of life.

"[Sérusier] deciphers the lines and synthesizes the harmonies, but the intellectual interpretation of nature holds true to the extent that when one is walking around Cornouaille in the autumn, one has the feeling of being in Sérusier painting. There is a constant oscillation between the natural landscape and the interior landscape that moves us with its intimate character."
Catherine Puget

Impressionist and Modern Art

|
Paris