La Seine à Rouen

Gustave Loiseau (1865 - 1935)

Oil on canvas, signed. Dated 1927 verso.
Canvas size: 21.5 x 25.5in / 55 x 65cm
Frame size: 27.5 x 31.5in / 70 x 80cm

Loiseau was constantly fascinated by water, inspired by its flow and scenes of rivers at different seasons or cities and villages located along their banks. Rouen was a city he visited many times, both to paint the cathedral and the river passing through it.

PROVENANCE

Private Collection, France, since 1940s
Thence by descent
Private Collection, USA

LITERATURE

This painting is sold with a photo-certificate from Didier Imbert Fine Art and will be included in their forthcoming Gustave Loiseau catalogue raisonné.

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Title: La Seine à Rouen Artist Name: Gustave Loiseau

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      (1865 - 1935)

      Gustave Loiseau was born in Paris, the son of butcher shop owners. After unwillingly serving an apprenticeship as a decorator, an inheritance from his grandmother in 1887 presented an opportunity to fulfil his aspiration to become a painter. Following the completion of his military service, he gave up his job and dedicated his life to painting.

      Where was Gustave Loiseau educated?

      Loiseau’s formal training took place at the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, where he studied life drawing. After a year, he left the school following an argument with a teacher. Then, he joined the landscape artist Fernand Just Quignon (whom he had met during his apprenticeship) in his studio in 1889.

      What was Gustave Loiseau’s artistic style?

      Even though Loiseau was fascinated by Quignon’s airy scenes, he was disillusioned by his method of painting a canvas from sketches in his studio. For Loiseau, it was implausible that a canvas should not be painted directly from the subject, ‘en plein air’.

      In 1890, seeking a location where he could concentrate on his love of landscape painting, Loiseau travelled to Pont-Aven in Brittany, a small village famous as an artist colony. He met Henry Moret, Maxime Maufra, Émile Bernard and other artists of the Pont-Aven School. Loiseau also ascertained a great deal from Gauguin, who returned to Pont-Aven in 1890 and again in 1894 from Tahiti, though his early work showed a greater debt to Camille Pissarro and Alfred Sisley.

      After a period of experimenting with Pointillism, Loiseau found his own interpretation of rural France. His canvases reveal an interest in creating a more melancholic vision, avoiding the intense light found in the work of the Impressionists; a renewed aesthetic sense characterised the stylistic path for expression, portraying the world not just by its physical appearance but by its inner realities.

      What was Gustave Loiseau’s artistic technique?

      Loiseau looked at nature with extraordinary sensitivity. His technique known as en treillis (or cross-hatching) gave his works a unique quality, now recognised as his speciality. This included defining structure and form with short brushstrokes of broken colour, placing him firmly within the Post-Impressionism movement.

      His paintings are faithful witnesses of his travels. Of particular interest to Loiseau was the effect of changing light and seasons on a scene. He would return to particular locations time and time again to study and paint them in different conditions, drawing comparisons to Claude Monet.

      Where did Gustave Loiseau work?

      The leading art collector and primary patron of the Impressionists, Paul Durand-Ruel, put the artist under his contract in 1897. This success enabled Loiseau to travel extensively to discover the regions of France, spending summers in Normandy, Brittany and occasionally the Dordogne, returning in winter to the Isle-de-France. In his later years, he divided his time between his studio in Pontoise and a new studio in Paris. He painted a series of works of the capital city, and it was there that he died in 1935.

      Where did Gustave Loiseau exhibit his art?

      Loiseau first exhibited at the Salon des Indépendants in 1893. From the end of the 19th century, he enjoyed great international success, with patrons in the United States and in Europe collecting his work. His paintings are represented in numerous museums, private collections and important galleries in Paris, the Thyssen-Bornemisza in Madrid, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

      If you are interested in purchasing his art, Willow Gallery holds a number of Gustave Loiseau paintings for sale.