Paysage au Bois d'Amour by Paul Sérusier
Paysage au Bois d'Amour by Paul Sérusier Paysage au Bois d'Amour by Paul Sérusier Paysage au Bois d'Amour by Paul Sérusier Paysage au Bois d'Amour by Paul Sérusier Paysage au Bois d'Amour by Paul Sérusier
Paysage au Bois d'Amour by Paul Sérusier

Paysage au Bois d'Amour by Paul Sérusier

  • Post-Impressionist painter Paul Sérusier composed this colorful French landscape scene
  • The brilliantly hued oil reveals the significant influence of Paul Gauguin on Sérusier
  • His works painted during this period reflect the development of the style of Les Nabis
  • From the Oprah Winfrey Collection
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Item No. 30-9012
Price: Available upon request
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description
Paul Sérusier
1864-1927 | French

Paysage au Bois d'Amour

Oil on canvas
Signed (lower right)

Paysage au Bois d'Amour presents a stunning exploration of form and color from the great Post-Impressionist painter Paul Sérusier. The brilliantly hued oil on canvas reveals the significant influence of Paul Gauguin on Sérusier, demonstrating the artist's quintessential color harmonies and bravura brushstrokes. Composed during the height of his career, the landscape embodies the new type of painting championed by Sérusier and Les Nabis at the end of the 19th century, one which favored subjectivity and a bold, simplified style.

The summer of 1888 when Sérusier met Paul Gauguin marked a major turning point in the young painter's career. The two artists crossed paths in the Bois d'Amour on the bank of the Aven River in Brittany, and Gauguin gave Sérusier a brief lesson in painting that day. Rather than capture the light and atmosphere of the landscape, Gauguin encouraged Sérusier to record his emotional response to the scene using bold colors and simplified forms. The result was one of Sérusier's greatest masterpieces - and undoubtedly the most important painting in the development of Les Nabis - his famous The Talisman (Musée d'Orsay, Paris).

Paysage au Bois d'Amour was composed in the same area just a few years after this groundbreaking first lesson. With its flattened forms and pure use of color, in many ways it resembles Sérusier's The Talisman, though the present work is far more figural. Serusier incorporates the humble peasants that are common motifs in the compositions that he composed in Brittany, and their presence pays homage to simplicity of life in the rural region. Parred with the austere landscape, his figures imbue Paysage au Bois d'Amour with both an agelessness and a mysticism that reveals his early encounters with the Symbolists.

Sérusier's works painted during his time in Brittany reflect the development of his own unique aesthetic, and he would remain faithful to these early precepts throughout his career. A number of similar works from this period can be found in the collection of the Musée d'Orsay (Paris).

Born in 1864 in Paris, Sérusier trained to be an artist at the famed Académie Julian. In 1888, he traveled to Pont-Aven in order to join a small group of artists studying with Paul Gauguin. It was during this period when the present work was created, and when Sérusier would develop the aesthetic style that would define his career. A Post-Impressionist, Sérusier was the primary figure in the group of painters known as Les Nabis, which also included Gauguin, Pierre Bonnard, Édouard Vuillard, and Maurice Denis, among others.

As the leader of Les Nabis, Sérusier championed a style that favored feeling over the strictures of realism. His works pushed the boundaries into abstraction, and he helped to usher in a new era of representation that focused on aesthetics and evocation. By 1908, he accepted a position as an instructer at the École Ranson, where he further broadened his influence. Today, his works are held in important collections such as the Musée d'Orsay (Paris), Musée de Petit Palais (Paris), Museum of Fine Arts (Houston), and the National Gallery of Victoria (Melbourne), among many others.

Circa 1895

Canvas: 19 3/8" high x 28 3/8" wide
Frame: 30 7/8" high x 39" wide

Provenance:
From the Oprah Winfrey Collection
M.S. Rau Antiques, New Orleans, 2019
specifications
Period: 1816-1918
Origin:France
Subject:Landscape
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