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Sérusier, Master of Color and Nature

Published on , by Caroline Legrand
Auction on 16 July 2022 - 10:00 (CEST) - 105, avenue de Kerrien - 29000 Quimper

Paul Sérusier painted this beautiful, subdued still life in 1923, when he was at the peak of his powers and still attached to the genre.

Paul Sérusier (1864-1927), Nature morte aux anémones avec citron (Still Life with... Sérusier, Master of Color and Nature

Paul Sérusier (1864-1927), Nature morte aux anémones avec citron (Still Life with Anemones and a Lemon), 1923, dated oil on canvas, title label on the back, 42 x 54 cm/16.53 x 21.26 in.
Estimate: €20,000/22,000

Whether during his Nabi period—after he met Paul Gauguin in Pont-Aven in 1888 and painted his famous Talismanor after 1900, when he turned to religious and spiritual themes, still life was always important in Paul Sérusier’s work. The genre was a traditional and inevitable one for every artist, but spoke to him personally. Sérusier considered himself a painting theorist. In 1921, he wrote a very technical book, L’ABC de la peinture. All of his paintings were carefully thought out. In this one, a yellow lemon and pink flower brightens up the delicate ochre monochrome. This calm still life is made up of just a few elements whose shapes and colors harmoniously respond to each other. Sérusier created a three-dimensional image on the flat canvas that immediately draws in the viewer. Also crucial is perspective, which he achieved through the interplay of folds in the tablecloth in the foreground and the diagonal line of the table in the background. “In a drawing,” he wrote, “any oblique line upsets the balance. It must be restored by one or more oblique lines going in the opposite direction.” Sérusier greatly enjoyed this highly technical exercise. Here, he was partly inspired by the Cubist artists, and in particular by their limited palette. However, he differs from them in emphasizing color, whereas they were more interested in the object itself. While Sérusier had stopped using vivid Nabi hues long before 1923, he still gave great importance to each color, which was chosen depending on the subject. The harmony between them gives the painting all its meaning.

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105, avenue de Kerrien - 29000 Quimper
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