Paul Gauguin (1848-1903)
Paul Gauguin (1848-1903)

Rouen, L'Eglise Saint-Ouen

Paul Gauguin (1848-1903)
Rouen, L'Eglise Saint-Ouen
signed and dated 'P Gauguin 84' (lower right)
oil on canvas
36 x 28 5/8 in. (91.5 x 72.8 cm.)
Painted in 1884
(possibly) Daniel de Monfreid, Paris (1893).
French Art Gallery, New York (by 1944).
Hugo Moser, New York.
Pedro Vallenilla Echeverria, Caracas (by 1957).
Wildenstein & Co., Inc., New York (by 1968).
Acquired by the family of the present owner in the 1970s.
J. Rewald, ed., Camille Pissarro, Letters to His Son Lucien, New York, 1943, p. 48 (illustrated, fig. 8).
J. Rewald, The History of Impressionism, New York, 1946, p. 376 (illustrated).
G. Diehl, El arte moderno Francés en Caracas, Instituto Cultural Venezolano-Francés, 1959, p. 19, no. 18 (illustrated).
"Notiziario," Arte antica e moderna, no. 22, April-June, 1963, p. XVI (illustrated, fig. 40).
A. Bury, "In the Galleries, Lautrec and Gauguin," Connoisseur, December 1963, p. 258.
G. Wildenstein, Gauguin, Paris, 1964, vol. I, pp. 41-42, no. 103 (illustrated, p. 41).
J. Rewald, The History of Impressionism, New York, 1973, p. 494 (illustrated).
D. Wildenstein, Gauguin, Premier itinéraire d'un sauvage, Catalogue de l'oeuvre peint (1873-1888), Paris, 2002, vol. I, p. 144, no. 124 (illustrated).
(possibly) Paris, Catalogue de la 8eme exposition de peinture, May-June 1886, no. 51.
Amsterdam, E.J. van Wisselingh & Co., Peintures françaises, 1940, no. 14.
Milwaukee Art Institute, Masters of Impressionism, October-November 1948, no. 13.
Caracas, Fundación Eugenio Mendoza, Cien años de pintura moderna, 1840-1940, May 1957, p. 13, no. 19 (illustrated).
Caracas, Museo de Bellas Artes, 20 Obras de la colección Pedro Vallenilla Echeverria, 1959, p. 9, no. 7.
London, Wildenstein & Co., Ltd., The French Impressionists and some of their Contemporaries, April-May 1963, pp. 23-24, no. 64 (illustrated).
Corpus Christi, Art Museum of South Texas, Ideas for the Collector, February-March 1968.
Baltimore Museum of Art, From El Greco to Pollock, Early and Late Works by European and American Artists, October-December 1968, pp. 86-87, no. 65 (illustrated, p. 86).
Cincinnati Art Museum, The Early Work of Paul Gauguin, Genesis of An Artist, March-April 1971, pp. 7 and 11, no. 6 (illustrated, p. 17, fig. 6).

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Stefany Sekara Morris
Stefany Sekara Morris

Lot Essay

In the summer of 1883, Camille Pissarro and Paul Gauguin worked alongside each other in Osny, painting en plein air in order to explore the challenges of capturing the landscape in the changing light of day. It was in November 1883 that Gauguin decided to move his family to Rouen, where the cost of living was much lower than Paris. "In 1884 the Impressionist movement was beginning to break apart. Cézanne was developing his ideas concerning the expression of form through color, Durand-Ruel called the works executed by Monet that year fauve, while Pissarro was about to take up the neo-impressionist theories of Seurat and Signac. Renoir had gone back to classical art for inspiration. Gauguin, too, shows the beginnings of his future tendencies, in a tentative way, in his painting of The Church of St. Ouen in Rouen. Superficially the picture still maintains the fragmented brush stroke similar to that Pissarro used in the early eighties, but the color is no longer Impressionist. The palette is dark and rich. There is little differentiation within objects of light and shadow, and often the most intense colors sparkle like jewels against the dark green velvet of the foliage. Gauguin was not yet using the massive areas of color that he was to employ in a few years in the pictures he would paint in Brittany and Tahiti, but he was already thinking in terms of sumptuous color rather than the effects of light" (quoted in Baltimore Museum of Art, exh. cat. op. cit., p. 86).

The present view of Rouen, L'Eglise Saint-Ouen must have been painted from the Bihorel hillside, close to the junction of rue de Bihorel and what is now rue Lamartine. Gauguin appears to have removed the cathedral from the scene, which would normally be visible to the right of the church form that spot, clearly seeking to balance the composition of this large-scale work.

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