XXth Century French School

 

The Kelp Pickers' dated 1930
Oil on canvas

14 x 17.5 in.

$2,900

 

This depiction of kelp pickers appears to be a preliminary study for mural work that was especially popular in France during the inter-war period.  Many artists of the period would work on book illustrations, posters advertising social causes, and urban design projects as a means of supplementing their meager income. 

The glorification of the workers, here retrieving the precious seaweed that serves as fertilizer for the soil, is conveyed through their  arduous physical labor, and the artist refrains from personalizing the figures, preferring  to emphasizing the back breaking  task at hand.  The curvilinear form of the cattle is typical of the Art Deco movement, and the dark, earthy tonalities are softened by the background light that subtly draws the viewer into the composition. 

children at the farm LV.jpg

 XX Century, Ecole de Pont Aven

 

'The Woman from Brittany'
Graphite on gouache 

8 x 12 in.

$3,800

 This delicate work owes subject matter and technique to the school founded by Paul Gauguin at the end of the XIXth century.  Its inspiration is derived from in the quaint villages along the Brittany coast near the town of Pont Aven, with its particular brand of folklore and indigenous dress. 

The details of the face and gnarled fingers are meticulously depicted, and the figure’s downward gaze reveals her total concentration of the task at hand.  The cascade of flowers adds a decorative element to the composition, flattening the pictorial surface and adding a lyrical quality to the work.

Before Purchasing?

This wonderful rendition of children in a farm appears to be a preparatory work by an artist who has nonetheless infused the subject matter with emotion and sensitivity.   The vibrancy of his palette and the splashes of bright red interspersed throughout the canvas, contributes to the spontaneity  of  the composition.  A feeling of tenderness is displayed in the interaction among the figures, heightening the sense of nostalgia for a time when life appeared to be simple and carefree.

(Louis Valtat ? ) XXth cent. 

 

'Children at the Farm'

Oil on Canvas

24 x 30 in.

$3,900

L.V.