1863 - 1948
Les fardeaux, 1909
Watercolour on paper
Signed and dated lower left
43 x 79 cm (unframed); 49 x 87.5 cm (framed)
This work will be included in the forthcoming Catalogue Raisonné of the artist currently being prepared by Ethel Mathier.
The work is in excellent condition. There are no apparent condition issues.
The work should be reframed. The paper is in direct contact with the glass and is backed with an acidic cardboard.
Please note: Condition 16 of the Conditions of Business for Buyers (Online Only) is not applicable to this lot.
The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with
assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colors and shades which are different to the lot's actual color and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation. The condition report is a statement of opinion only. For that reason, the condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.
Works by Biéler of such exceptional quality, colour vibrancy and provenance rarely appear on the market. Les fardeaux has been preserved for more than 60 years by one family and is considered to be one of the artist’s finest masterpieces.
Ernst Biéler was active between 1905 and 1938 in the Canton of Valais, Switzerland. During this period the artist abandoned traditional oil painting in favour of tempera and watercolour. The extraordinary almost full-length portrait depicting three young girls from the Village of Savièse within the Valaisanne landscape is a seminal work by the artist. As in other portraits of this period, Biéler depicts the tradition of Valais through dedicated attention to traditional costumes and rural scenes that describe everyday life within the mountain landscapes.
Although the painting is composed in a graphic manner, with strong focus on contours, the facial features of the girls are slightly uniform in order to focus the viewer’s attention on the composition and the village in the background. Biéler strived to highlight the rural motif, the authenticity, the permanence of traditions and culture of the land rather than individuals. Consequently, Biéler offers us an idealized, strong and aestheticised vision of rural life from the first half of the twentieth century, rather than portraying the harshness of peasant life.