Village au bord de la rivière (Porte-Joie)
Oil on canvas: 23.6(h) x 32.2(w) in / 60(h) x 81.9(w) cm
Signed and dated lower right: G Loiseau 01
1865 - Paris - 1935
Ref: BZ 271
Village au bord de la rivière (Porte-Joie)
Signed and dated lower right: G Loiseau 1901
Oil on canvas: 23 5/8 x 32 ¼ in / 60 x 81.9 cm
Frame size: 32 x 40 ½ in / 81.3 x 102.9 cm
In an antique Louis XIV carved and gilded frame
Galerie des Granges, Geneva
Collection of Monsieur Piquerez, Bassecourt, Switzerland, 1973;
Private collection, France
Galerie de la Corraterie, Geneva
Private collection, Switzerland, acquired in 1989
To be included in the catalogue raisonné of the work of Gustave Loiseau being prepared by Monsieur Didier Imbert, ref. no.A 1602
Gustave Loiseau commented: ‘I work in my little corner, as best I can, and try my best to translate the impression I get from nature…it is my instinct alone that guides me and I am proud not to resemble anybody’. Loiseau was influenced by the Pont-Aven School and the Pointillists early in his career before forging his own poetic interpretation of Post-Impressionism.
This painting depicts the picturesque medieval church by the Seine at Porte-Joie in Normandy, about fifty miles north-west of Loiseau’s family home in Pontoise. All his career he was fascinated by water, depicting coastal scenes and the major waterways of France. Rapid, cross-hatched brushstrokes conjure up the air of this frosty morning. Loiseau teases out the colours in nature, from the touches of violet, grey, cream, cobalt and midnight blue in the trees across the river, to the foreground vegetation shimmering in the frost, with warm burgundy, red and ochre mixed among the cooler hues. The church is sharply defined in the radiant morning air. The complexity and subtlety of Loiseau’s brushwork reflects his profound emotional response to the scene.
1865 – Paris – 1937
Gustave Loiseau is one of the most poetic and sensitive of the Post-Impressionists. His work shows the influence of Impressionist masters such as Alfred Sisley and Camille Pissarro and he briefly took advice from Paul Gauguin, whilst being a great admirer of Corot. Loiseau experimented with Pointillism, but developed his own style. He is considered to be a pure landscape artist, painting from direct observation of nature in a manner which is reminiscent of Claude Monet.
Loiseau was born in Paris, the son of a butcher from Pontoise who had moved to the Ile-Saint-Louis. He was apprenticed in 1880 to a painter and decorator, a job which he despised, but which confirmed his interest in art. Loiseau discovered the countryside of Pontoise when his parents retired there in 1881; a small legacy from his grandmother in 1887 spurred him to devote his life to landscape painting.
Loiseau studied at the Ecole des Arts Décoratifs and in 1889 at the studio of the landscape painter Fernand Quignon. Loiseau rented a room in a workers’ tenement, La Maison du Trappeur in the Rue Ravignon, Montmartre, which was later to become famous as the Bateau-Lavoir. He became acquainted with Jean-Louis Forain and Adolphe Willette, but his shy, nature-loving personality had little in common with the raucous bohemians of the Parisian art scene. In 1890 he went to Pont-Aven, staying at the famous inn run by Marie-Jeanne Gloanec, where he was befriended by Henry Moret and Maxime Maufra. Although working in a personal style, Loiseau’s paintings from this period show the influence of the Pont-Aven School in their diagonal compositions, shortened perspectives and anti-panoramic fields of view. Returning to Paris in 1891, Loiseau exhibited for the first time at the Fifth Exhibition of Impressionist and Symbolist Painters. He showed paintings at the gallery of Le Barc de Boutteville in Rue Le Pelletier, where two works were bought by the celebrated Rouen collector and friend of Monet, François Depeaux.
For much of his life Loiseau was based in Paris but travelled extensively through France, making repeated trips to Pont-Aven, where he was encouraged by Gauguin in 1894, to Normandy and to Pontoise. Described as ‘the historiographer of the Seine’, he also captured the shifting moods of the Oise and the Eure rivers and the Channel ports. Loiseau joined the Société des Artistes Indépendants in 1893. In 1897 he signed an agreement to sell most of his output to Paul Durand-Ruel, giving him the financial independence to travel more extensively. Loiseau divided his last years between Pontoise (where he is buried) and Paris, where he died in 1935.
The work of Gustave Loiseau is represented in the Musée d’Orsay, Paris; the Musée des Beaux-Arts, Rouen; the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford; the Marubeni Collection, Japan; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City.