Paysage, Ile-de-France

Paysage, Ile-de-France
Circa 1893
Oil on canvas
51.4 x 63.8 cm
Signed and dated ‘H Lebasque 93’ (lower left)
Arthur Tooth & Sons, London Anon. sale, Sotheby’s, London, 9 February 2005, lot 546 Private collection, acquired at the above sale
D. Bazetoux, Henri Lebasque, Paris, 2008, vol. I, p. 123, no.335 (illustrated in color, p. 19)

Henri Lebasque started his artistic career in the mid-1880s as an assistant to Symbolist painter Pierre Puvis de Chavannes. He was captivated by Impressionism and at the same time had great interest in the Divisionist techniques of Georges Seurat and Paul Signac. In the early 1890s Lebasque befriended Edouard Vuillard and Pierre Bonnard, and connected with painters of Les Nabis. By 1893, the time of the present work, Lebasque had amalgamated all these inspirations into his own lyrical Impressionist style.

Paysage, Ile-de-France depicts a shaded forest with a view opening onto a sun-lit meadow, a small hamlet and wooded hills in the distance. The time of the year is autumn. The foliage on the tall trees and undergrowth in the foreground has turned to a reddish brown, and some leaves already cover the grey forest floor, while the fields and forest in the distance glow in sunny shades of orange, yellow and pink. Lebasque’s thick, lustrous dashes of paint clearly demonstrate his affinity to Divisionism. With Paysage, Ile-de-France he masterfully celebrates the glory of autumn, contrasting the sombre colours of the shaded edge of the woods with the warm, luminous tones of the landscape further afar. It is a last glance at summer in a year that is coming to an end.