• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 12071

    Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale

    13 May 2016, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 1276

    Henri Le Sidaner (1862-1939)

    Le soir sur la maison

    Price Realised  


    Henri Le Sidaner (1862-1939)
    Le soir sur la maison
    signed 'LE SIDANER' (lower left)
    oil on canvas
    32 1/8 x 39 5/8 in. (81.5 x 100.7 cm.)
    Painted in Gerberoy in 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

    Henri Le Sidaner first visited Gerberoy in March 1901 and was immediately taken with the tranquility of his surroundings, renting a small cottage which he eventually acquired in 1904. Like Claude Monet, who found limitless inspiration from his carefully constructed garden at Giverny, Le Sidaner devoted ceaseless attention to his home and its environs, enlarging the buildings and designing all aspects of the improvements himself. These enhancements, particularly those centered around the flower garden in the courtyard in which he attempted to create harmony between the plants and the buildings, provided Le Sidaner with a wealth of inspiration and a crucial source of new subject matter and, like Monet at Giverny, Le Sidaner's art became inextricably linked with his house and gardens at Gerberoy.
    The setting of the present painting possesses an air of stillness, and it is obvious that great care has been taken in the framing of the composition, the precise arrangement of which engenders a subtle play on formal correspondences. The lavender highlights in the cobblestone courtyard echo the cascades of freesia covering the walls of the château. A bouquet of plump, blushing roses on the windowsill complement the glowing pink and amber light coming from the upper windows. And finally, a series of squares and rectangles—the multiple window panes, shutters and patterns found in the cobblestones—dictates the composition’s rhythm.
    Writings on Le Sidaner tend to focus on the silence and subtle play of anticipation exemplified in his work, and his contemporary Paul Signac characterized Le Sidaner's entire career as a progression towards the elimination of human figures: "His oeuvre displays a taste for tender, soft and silent atmospheres. Gradually, he even went so far as to eliminate all human presence from his pictures, as if he feared that the slightest human form might disturb their muffled silence" (quoted in Y. Farinaux-Le Sidaner, op. cit., p. 31). The sense of understated mystery and gentle poetry achieved in the present painting was Le Sidaner's artistic inheritance from his Symbolist-inspired early years, while the subtly worked contrasts and painterly application of pigment owe a clear debt to Impressionism.


    Galerie Georges Petit, Paris.
    Dr. F. Ramond, Paris (by 1927).
    Jacques Hellenberg, Paris.
    M. Newman, Ltd., London.
    Anon. sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, 17 December 1971, lot 128.
    Jacques Spreiregen, Monaco; sale, Sotheby Parke Bernet & Co., London, 31 March 1977, lot 269.
    Anon. sale, Christie's, London, 3 February 2004, lot 151.
    Acquired at the above sale by the present owner.

    Pre-Lot Text

    Property from the Forbes Collection


    M. Feuillet, "Henri Le Sidaner, peintre du silence," Le Gaulois artistique, no. 13, 13 November 1927, p. 21 (illustrated; titled La maison au crépuscule).
    C. Mauclair, Henri Le Sidaner, Paris, 1928, p. 179 (illustrated).
    Y. Farinaux-Le Sidaner, Le Sidaner, L'oeuvre peint et gravé, Milan, 1989, p. 208, no. 546 (illustrated).


    Paris, Galerie Georges Petit, Le Sidaner, Oeuvres récentes, November 1927, p. 14, no. 27 (titled La Maison au crépuscule).