Les travaux des champs, Eté, 1938
Stamped with signature
Oil on paperboard
22.2 x 9.8 in, 57 x 25 cm
Lyonnais by birth, André arrived in Paris in 1889 to further his training at the Académie Julian. It was here that he met Louis Valtat, with whom he became very...
Lyonnais by birth, André arrived in Paris in 1889 to further his training at the Académie Julian. It was here that he met Louis Valtat, with whom he became very close, and through Valtat, Georges d’Espagnat and many of the Nabis group - Maurice Denis, Pierre Bonnard, Edouard Vuillard and Paul Serusier.
André quickly developed a position at the forefront of the most exciting developments in artistic practice in Paris. He first exhibited at the Salon des Independants in 1894 and was immediately remarked upon by both influential critics, such as Thadée Natanson and established masters alike: this occasion led to an important and lasting friendship with Pierre-Auguste Renoir.
In 1899 André was invited to participate in a group show at Galerie Durand-Ruel, the important patron of many avant-garde artists and five years later his first solo exhibition was mounted at the gallery. That year too, André was chosen to exhibit amongst the Post-Impressionists at Octave Maus’ Libre Esthetique in Brussels, and he was also nominated by Paul Signac for membership of the Salon d’Automne.
In her monograph Evelyne Yeatman heralds Andre ‘Le peintre de Laudun’, a village situated in Languedoc/Provence near the banks of the Rhone. For many years André divided his time between Paris and Laudun, attracted by its warmth and light and old stone buildings, increasingly so after 1917 when he was appointed curator at the nearby museum of Bagnols-sur-Ceze (now the Musee Albert André). His wonderful garden, opening up onto vines and distant hills provided him with motifs for many of his finest works.
In 1938 André was commissioned by the town of Orange, just a short distance from Laudun, to paint four panels for the Cabinet of the Mayor, at the Town Hall of Orange. The present work is a sketch for one of these panels.
'Les travaux des champs' are typical of one of André’s favourite motifs: man in nature, whilst they demonstrate André’s interest in the sensual qualities of paint and colour-filled canvases.
Galerie Durand-Ruel, Paris, Stock no. D20098, image no. 19956
This work will be included in the 'Catalogue raisonné de l'oeuvre du peintre Albert André (1869-1954)' currently being prepared by Evelyne Yeatman.