Private Collection, Paris
Musée Galliera, Paris, 'Retrospective', April 1948, no. 2
Musée Fournaise, Chatou, 'Henri le Sidaner - Le Secret des Lumiéres, 29th April - 29 October 2006
Yann Farinaux-Le Sidaner, 'Le Sidaner. L'oeuvre peint et gravé', Editions André Sauret, Paris, 1989, no. 1011, ill, p. 335
Musée Fournaise, Chatou, 'Henri le Sidaner - Le Secret des Lumiéres', exhibition catalogue, 2006, p. 29, ill
While Le Sidaner did not pursue symbolist imagery, he did paint with a desire not to depict things as they appear, but rather to evoke an atmosphere. As he would often point out to his students, no landscape was worth painting if it was not enhanced by some play of light. In this respect, the artist personally designed a garden in his estate in Gerberoy to have the means to experience and achieve his favourite quest of light effects.
‘Le village, Dolceacqua’, 1911, depicts the small Medieval town of Dolceacqua, known for its beautiful light and dramatic shadows. The town is in the Province of Imperia in the Italian region Liguria, located about 120 km southwest of Genoa and about 35 km from the French border. Archaeological remains bear witness to the successive occupations of the site since the Iron Age. Of the castle, built in 1151, only the ruins remain, perched on a rocky spur dominating the village at the foot of the Rebuffao mountain. The houses lead down to the Nervia River where an impressive single-arched 33 meter long bridge joins the old town with the new.
The catalogue raisonné records Le Sidaner’s visit in 1911: ‘Stay in Dolceacqua, Italy….Le Sidaner paints the bridge of Dolceacqua….which strikes him very much… From a formal standpoint, the 1910 decade shows an evolution in the painter’s techniques. Composition is richer and expression is clearer in the use of divided tones’.
Monet painted the town from a very similar view-point in 1884.