The theme of a table set in a garden is undoubtedly one of the most exciting and enigmatic subjects in Le Sidaner's oeuvre. The composition is always well thought out; the objects placed on the tables are meticulously selected and arranged with care. In La table dans la verdure, Gerberoy, the artist has chosen a checked tablecloth and simple cutlery, surrounded by lush greenery, giving the setting a bucolic feel. The façade of the building in the background closes off the scene, and the luminous, distinct, emphatic brushstrokes seem to flatten the entire composition so it exists on a single plane, united in a silent harmony of tones. Time appears suspended. Humans are absent from the painting; the viewer takes on the disconcerting role of a stranger who has turned up unexpectedly at a scene where the guests have momentarily disappeared. "His entire work is influenced by a taste for tender, soft and silent atmospheres. Gradually, he even went so far as eliminate from his paintings all human figures, as if he feared that the slightest human presence might disturb their muffled silence." (Yann Farinaux-Le Sidaner, Le Sidaner, L'œuvre peint et gravé, Milan, 1989, p. 30 , p. 31)
Le Sidaner first visited Gerberoy in March 1901, while looking for a country home so he could escape the hustle and bustle of Paris. His son Rémy remembers that the artist "longed to plan a garden of his own, in which the landscape would be designed by him personally and in which he could achieve his favorite light effects. He mentioned this project to Auguste Rodin, who directed him to the Beauvais area. A potter living in Beauvais, answering to the name of Delaherche, recommended the village of Gerberoy" (quoted in Yann Farinaux-Le Sidaner, op. cit., p. 14). Le Sidaner began by renting a modest house there, which he then bought in 1904. Located on the border between Picardy and Normandy, Gerberoy is a picturesque fortified village with cobblestone streets and half-timbered and stone houses. The property purchased by the artist corresponded perfectly to his plan to extend the building and remodel the space, over and over again. From 1910, he created an extension to the main house, before adding a pavilion, a barn and then a tower. He also carefully landscaped the extensive gardens. Like Claude Monet's house and garden in Giverny, Le Sidaner's house in Gerberoy underwent major renovations in order to provide the artist with new subjects for his paintings and therefore supply him with a continuous source of inspiration. In 1935, four years before his death, he delivered a speech to celebrate the three decades he had spent in the village: "And when it is my time to go, I am sure I shall be seized with a vision of my modest cottage in Gerberoy, where trembling fingers will adorn the shutters with a single branch of greenery, enhanced by heavy roses, bringing us that elusive grace which characterizes the blossoming of nature" (ibid., p. 19).
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