Born in 1863 in Paris, Paul Madeline grew up inspired by the works of the great Impressionist and Post-Impressionist masters; Monet, Seurat and Pissarro. Madeline begun his artistic training at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris and supported himself financially through a job in a publishing house. He painted his evocative and colourful landscapes en plein air when his career allowed. Travels across France, from the Mediterranean to Brittany, provided the young and impressionable artist with a wealth of inspiration.
In 1894 he was invited to the Creuse region in central France by the poet Maurice Rollinat and a fellow art student Leon Detroy, a leading practitioner of the École de Crozant, who introduced Madeline to fellow Post-Impressionist painter Armand Guillaumin. Under the influence of these artists Madeline depicted the French landscape in sumptuous colour and in loose brushstrokes with moss-green and purple tones resonating throughout his work.
Madeline exhibited at the Salon de la Société des Artistes Français from 1894 to 1902, and received an honourable mention for his paintings in 1897, the same year that he was elected to become a member. He exhibited at the Salon des Artistes, the Salon d’Automne and the Salon de la Nationale des Beaux-Arts and by 1902 his artistic success allowed him to focus solely on his art.
In 1908, Madeline founded “La Société Moderne”, along with Lebasque, Raffaëlli, Aman and Maurice Chabas, and this group were invited to exhibit annually as a group at Gallerie Durand-Ruel in Paris. In the later part of his career, Madeline begun to introduce figures into his landscapes, particularly traditional Bretagne dress. Six years after his death in 1926, the Salon des Indépendants held a retrospective of Madeline’s work. His landscapes can now be found in notable public collections including the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Rouen, Limoges, Nantes and Pau.
This charming scene offers a glimpse into the private imaginings of three young children exploring the English countryside in the heart of the spring. The painting is a masterful display of Lewis’ skill as he captures the fleeting effects of light falling through the branches of the trees above, illuminating the spring blossoms and the bluebells underfoot.