HENRI LE SIDANER (1862-1939)
HENRI LE SIDANER (1862-1939)
HENRI LE SIDANER (1862-1939)
HENRI LE SIDANER (1862-1939)
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This lot has been imported from outside of the UK … Read more PROPERTY FROM AN IMPORTANT PRIVATE COLLECTION
HENRI LE SIDANER (1862-1939)

La Place des buveurs d'eau, Aix-les-Bains

HENRI LE SIDANER (1862-1939)
La Place des buveurs d'eau, Aix-les-Bains
signed 'Le Sidaner' (lower left)
oil on canvas
28 3⁄4 x 36 1⁄4 in. (73 x 92.1 cm.)
Painted in 1937
Private collection.
Anonymous sale, Sotheby's, New York, 3 December 1981, lot 612.
Acquired at the above sale by the present owner.
Y. Farinaux-Le Sidaner, Le Sidaner, L'œuvre peint et gravé, Milan, 1989, no. 783, p. 285 (illustrated).
Paris, Galerie Charpentier, Exposition Le Sidaner, February - March 1939, no. 4.
Paris, Musée Galliéra, Rétrospective Henri Le Sidaner, April 1948, no. 52.
Brussels, Galerie de l'Art Belge, Rétrospective Le Sidaner, April - May 1951, no. 16; this exhibition later travelled to Glasgow, 1951.
Special notice
This lot has been imported from outside of the UK for sale and placed under the Temporary Admission regime. Import VAT is payable at 5% on the hammer price. VAT at 20% will be added to the buyer’s premium but will not be shown separately on our invoice.

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Lot Essay

Le Sidaner developed his distinctive lexicon during the 1890s, under the influence of Symbolism. The poignant fin-de-siècle mood of early Belgian Symbolists Maurice Maeterlinck, Emile Verhaeren, and Fernand Khnopff set the tone of his œuvre. On a formal level, he found a suitably harmonious, all-over treatment for his compositions in Neo-Impressionism. The sense of understated mystery and gentle poetry, evident in La Place des buveurs d'eau, Aix-les-Bains, was Le Sidaner's artistic inheritance from his Symbolist-inspired early years; while the highly-keyed palette, subtly worked contrasts and painterly application of pigment owed its debt to Impressionism. This dual aspect of his art was touched on by the critic, and his supporter, Camille Mauclair who wrote: ‘Born out of Impressionism, [Le Sidaner] is as much the son of Verlaine than of the snow scenes of Monet’ (C. Mauclair, Henri Le Sidaner, Paris, 1928, p. 12).
Writings on Le Sidaner tend to focus on the silence and subtle play of anticipation exemplified in his work, and his contemporary Paul Signac even went so far as to characterize Le Sidaner's entire career as a progression towards the elimination of human figures: ‘His œuvre 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, Le Sidaner, 1989, p. 31).

Catherine Lévy-Lambert could easily be thinking of the present painting when she describes the artist's ability to capture ‘the indistinct hour when the day is about to die’ (ibid., p. 31). It is the hour that critic Camille Mauclair has evocatively termed ‘l'heure Le Sidaner’ (quoted in R. Le Sidaner, ‘Le peintre Henri Le Sidaner tel que je l'ai connu’, Exh. Cat., Henri Le Sidaner, Paris, 1989, p. 11).
A wonderful example of Le Sidaner’s later years, La Place des buveurs d'eau, Aix-les-Bainshas been acquired in 1981 and has since remained in the same private hands.

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