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Georges Seurat (1859-1891)
No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VA… Read more PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE EUROPEAN COLLECTION
Georges Seurat (1859-1891)

La mère de l'artiste, assise

Georges Seurat (1859-1891)
La mère de l'artiste, assise
conté crayon on paper
12¼ x 9½ in. (31 x 24 cm.)
Executed circa 1882
B. Hein, Paris.
Private collection, Paris, since 1950s.
C.M. de Hauke, Seurat et son oeuvre, vol. II, Paris, 1961, no. 492 (illustrated p. 95).
Brussels, Palais des Beaux-Arts, De Toulouse-Lautrec à Chagall, March - April, 1956, no. 164 (illustrated).
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Lot Essay

The present drawing is one of a series of drawings executed between 1882 and 1884 depicting Seurat's mother seated or standing by a window, reading or sewing (de H. 470, 492, 582-85). Perhaps the most celebrated of these is the portrait of his mother sewing entitled Broderie (Mme Seurat) (de H. 582) today housed in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

Ernestine Faivre Seurat (c.1820-98) was sober, industrious and devoted to her family, especially to her younger son. With his sister and brother gone from home before he was eight, and his father away much of the time, Georges grew up virtually alone with his mother. She was the only one of the family, besides his sister and her husband Léon Appert (1837-1925), who was interested in Georges' work and in his friends. She must have had had some contact with the art world in which he moved, for she commissioned a painting from Camille Pissarro in 1886, and bought some posters by Jules Chéret, whom Seurat admired in later years. In the seven years between her son's death and her own, she did everything possible to perpetuate his memory. She distributed some of his paintings and drawings among his friends, and offered his work to the Louvre, which haughtily refused the proposed gift.

La mère de l'artiste has remained in the same private collection for over 50 years. Like so many of these wonderful conté drawings it has rarely been exhibited, last being shown in Brussels in the 1950s.


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