• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 12071

    Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale

    13 May 2016, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 1249

    Henri Le Sidaner (1862-1939)

    La maison des pêcheurs

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    Henri Le Sidaner (1862-1939)
    La maison des pêcheurs
    signed 'LE SIDANER' (lower right)
    oil on canvas
    32 ¼ x 26 in. (82 x 65.7 cm.)
    Painted in Villefranche-sur-Mer in 1924-1925


    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    Contact the department

    An ode to symbolist ideology and a model of neo-impressionist execution, Henri Le Sidaner’s La maison des pêcheurs, exemplifies the artist’s ability to construct “symbolically charged, atmospheric images with veiled views of the town in the dreamy stillness of twilight” (I. Mössinger and K. Sagner, Henri Le Sidaner, Chemnitz, 2009, p. 39).
    Anchored fishing boats beckon to a single beacon of light originating from a façade along the canal. Denoted by planar, fragmented brushwork, the colored light seamlessly hops across the rippled waters under the hazy dusk of day’s end. The light source suggests the possibility of a human presence in a scene devoid of figural representation. The stillness and dreamy silence of what Camille Mauclair coined as “Le Sidaner’s time” elicits a sense of dream-like nostalgia and sentimental realism over the dissolving forms.
    Often compared to Claude Monet for his portrayal of light through the manipulation of color, Le Sidaner differed from the older generation of Impressionists in that he rarely painted outdoors. Le Sidaner would quickly sketch the scenes he observed as he walked through the maritime town, later crafting the compositions from his imagination. Painted from memory, La maison des pêcheurs, is an intimate manifestation of the artist’s imaginative psyche. Le Sidaner breached a new realm of symbolist rhetoric through his “musical quality of colour” (ibid., p. 66) and “taste for tender, soft and silent atmospheres” (Y. Farinaux-Le Sidaner, op. cit., p. 31).
    At roughly the same time as this painting’s creation in 1924-1925, the art critic Pierre Troyon remarked on Le Sidaner’s adherence to idealistic impartiality, stating, “there is scarcely another oeuvre that is so liberated of literary, anecdotal elements and traditional ideas [and] far from any polemics or world view” (I. Mössinger and K. Sagner , op. cit., p. 178). In the present work, Le Sidaner chose to re-create memories of a small seaside harbor unspoiled by the sprawl of modern industrialization which had swept across Europe. In this idyllic seascape, the only disturbance amidst the quiet port is the combat for authority between light and water.

    (fig. 1) The Artist in Villefranche-sur-mer, 1933.

    Provenance

    Galerie Georges Petit, Paris.
    M. Knoedler et Cie., Paris (acquired from the above, February 1925).
    Jean-Claude Anaf, Lyons.
    Private collection (acquired from the above, June 1989); sale, Christie's, London, 25 June 2003, lot 137.
    MacConnal-Mason & Son, Ltd., London (acquired at the above sale).
    Acquired from the above by the present owner, 2004.


    Pre-Lot Text

    Property from the Forbes Collection


    Literature

    Y. Farinaux-Le Sidaner, Le Sidaner, L'oeuvre peint et gravé, Milan, 1989, p. 214, no. 568 (illustrated).


    Exhibited

    Paris, Galerie Georges Petit, Le Sidaner, La maison, les heures et les saisons, February 1925, no. 37.