Paul Gauguin (1848-1903)
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Gauguin's Odyssey: Selections From The Kelton Collection
Paul Gauguin (1848-1903)

Etable près de Dieppe II

Paul Gauguin (1848-1903)
Etable près de Dieppe II
signed and dated 'P Gauguin 85' (lower left)
oil on canvas
29 x 23 3/8 in. (73.7 x 59.4 cm.)
Painted in 1885
Stenensen (or Stenersen) collection, Denmark (by1990).
Private collection; sale, Christie's, New York, 1 November 2005, lot 21.
Acquired at the above sale by the late owner.
G. Wildenstein, Gauguin, Paris, 1964, vol. I, pp. 60-61, no. 162 (illustrated, p. 61; titled Chaumière en Normandie).
D. Wildenstein, Gauguin, A Savage in the Making: Catalogue Raisonné of the Paintings, Paris, 2002, vol. I, p. 225, no. 189 (illustrated in color).
Rome, Complesso del Vittoriano, Paul Gauguin: Artist of Myth and Dream, October 2007-February 2008, p. 180, no. 15 (illustrated in color, p. 181).

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Max Carter
Max Carter

Lot Essay

In June 1885, after weathering a six-month stint in his wife Mette’s native Copenhagen, during which his mood teetered on the brink of despair, Gauguin returned alone and penniless to Paris, leaving his five children behind in their mother’s care. “Impossible to stand the tempest in Denmark,” he lamented to Pissarro (quoted in Gauguin and Impressionism, exh. cat., Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth, 2005, p. 258). By late June or early July, he had traveled to Dieppe at the invitation of an unknown host, whose identity he took care to hide from Mette—perhaps someone who had played a part in their marital conflict at Rouen the previous year. He lodged with this mysterious friend through late September, occasionally painting in the port city itself, but more often venturing into the surrounding countryside near Varengeville to find his motifs.
“Gauguin’s stay in Dieppe marked an explosion of creativity,” Sylvie Crussard has written. “Now free of his family, Gauguin threw himself into his work and, painting successive studies of similar subjects—a very rare thing with him—he attained a quite exceptional rate of production” (D. Wildenstein, op. cit., 2002, p. 214).
One of Gauguin’s major projects during this summer was a group of interrelated paintings in which rustic farm buildings are viewed through a screen of foliage. Taken together, these works demonstrate his interest in the emphatic harmony of the complementary colors red (the roof tiles) and green (the leaves), likely guided by Chevreul’s theory of simultaneous contrast. Etable près de Dieppe II is the much larger of two canvases depicting a stable with a hayloft, adjacent to a lower structure with half-timbered walls. The smaller variant (Wildenstein, no. 188) is probably a study from nature, while the present version was worked up in the studio with a more densely woven facture à la Cézanne. In another subset of four paintings, Gauguin focused his attention on a barn alongside a stream where cows came to water, this time selecting a different vantage point for each composition (nos. 192-195).
Three or four canvases from this experimental group were among the nineteen paintings that Gauguin showed at the eighth and final Impressionist Exhibition in 1886. Unlike Monet’s nascent serial practice, in which time was a key dimension, “Gauguin’s main concerns were color, composition, and mood,” Richard Brettell has written. “The viewer is encouraged to go back and forth among his paintings, comparing them from these points of view” (exh. cat., op. cit., 2005, p. 268). Soon after the show closed, Gauguin departed for his first sojourn at Pont-Aven, where the rural landscape and traditional customs of Brittany provided the stimulus for the increasingly symbolist direction that his work would henceforth take.

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