Anemones by Gustave Loiseau
Oil on Board
13" x 10" / 33cms x 26 cms
One of the foremost Post-Impressionist painters, Gustave Loiseau was profoundly influenced by the great masterpieces of the Impressionists. With no formal artistic training, Loiseau shaped his style through the observation of nature and by careful study of his Impressionist forebears. He rebelled against the traditional practices of painting and joined the famous artist's colony at Pont-Aven in Brittany in the 1890s. There he became companions with Henry Moret, Maxime Maufra and Paul Gauguin and under their influence, Loiseau embraced the use of bold colour and sought to expand and seek new aspects of the Impressionist style.
In the latter part of Loiseau’s career, the artist produced several exquisite still-life compositions. Often painted on board, many of these works were painted at Pont-Aven between 1922 and 1928. As Didier Imbert has noted of the painter’s method and technique, ‘essentially impressionist in his depiction of landscapes or street scenes, it acquires for the still- lifes a certain classical resonance, a staid geometric composition, almost synthetic, in which one perceives his preoccupation with immobility, lack of movement, the static quality of the object represented.’
Derived from Greek to mean ‘windflower’, anemones are wildflowers that grow in many parts of northern Europe. They are so called because these delicate flowers are blown open by the wind each morning, and they close at the end of the day, at nightfall. Their transient beauty, captured for eternity under Loiseau’s brush resonates from this canvas.
Loiseau delights us with a playful palette of purples, reds, whites and greens grounded by the earthy browns to the lower third of the work. The still-life's rich surface, composed using spontaneous brushwork as the pigment is layered upon the canvas, reveals Loiseau’s experimental nature and exemplifies his instinctive use of both Impressionist and Post-Impressionist techniques in his quest to capture nature as he experienced it. A charming bijou of a painting, this would sit nicely in any collection and may form the start of a love-affair with this artist’s work.