Emile Claus (Belgian, 1849-1924)
A PASTORAL SCENE WITH CHILDREN AND CATTLE BY A POND
Signed l.r., oil on canvas
53 x 92cm
A superb picture by the Belgian artist Emile Claus (1849-1924) will feature in Sworders’ June 25-26 Fine Interiors auction. The picture, measuring 53 x 92cm, was purchased by the seller's grandfather before the Second World War.
Emile Claus is celebrated as the pre-eminent artist of Belgian Impressionism and one of the founders of the group ‘Vie et Lumiere’ in 1904. Impressionism came late to Belgium but Claus began to fall under its spell, particularly the paintings of Monet and Pissarro, from the late 1880s.
His early development, however, was characterised by a greater naturalism, partly influenced by the Barbizon landscape painters in France but also, more tellingly, by the work of Jules Bastien-Lepage.
He embraced the prevailing taste for plein-air painting when he moved to Astene by the river Lys in 1883. The views of the river from his cottage ‘Zonneschijn’ (‘Sunshine’), formerly a hunting pavilion, in Eastern Flanders, were the inspiration for countless works throughout the rest of his life. Few of the landscapes from this early period are dated, but parallels between our painting and other river scenes, such as ‘Le Bateau qui passe’ of 1883, which also depicts children on a riverbank, point to a date for our picture soon after his arrival in Astene.
This beautiful pastoral scene, in which the tranquillity of the water and the soft mists beyond the grazing cattle suggest early morning, is suffused with a gentle lyricism. It combines careful attention to detail with a mastery of light which pre-figures his conversion to the greater freedoms of Impressionism in the decades that followed.
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Sold for £31,000
Light craquelure in various places across painting.
Very light surface dirt.
Light stretcher marks visible from certain angles, the most obvious being the central vertical stretcher, with some light corresponding cracks to the paint.
A light horizontal crease above lilac flowers (right area) visible from certain angles.
Seen under U/V light - there is a small amount of retouching to the extreme right edge due to peripheral frame rubbing and possibly some further spots elsewhere. The surface is covered with an uneven varnish which in parts if fluorescing green however no significant conservation is apparent.
Frame - appears to be contemporary with the painting. Has been re-gilded. Ready to hang.
Provenance - private seller, painting was purchased by the seller's grandfather before the second World War.
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Auction: Fine Interiors - Two Day Sale, Tue, 25th Jun 2019
21 June 2019, 9am - 5pm
23 June 2019, 10am - 1pm
24 June 2019, 9am - 5pm
25 June 2019, from 9am
26 June 2019, from 9am
Removal of Lots
Please note that all lots should be removed by 5pm on Friday 5 July 2019. Furniture lots remaining after this date will be removed to Perry Removals, Chapel End, Broxted, Essex CM6 2BW. Removal will be at a cost of £20 per lot and storage will be charged at £2 per lot, per day.
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