Zingg: in praise of the rural world

On 14 May 2020, by Anne Doridou-Heim

The summer with its harvests outweighed the wintry weather at the sale of seven works by Jules-Émile Zingg from a private collection

Jules-Émile Zingg (1882-1942), Harvest near Lannion, Brittany, oil on canvas, 73 x 100 cm.
Result: €28 500

Born in Montbéliard, situated in eastern France, the painter Jules-Émile Zingg (1882-1942) liked nothing better than crisscrossing the French countryside, paying tribute to it in his compositions. Here seven of his works were up for sale, all exalting labour in the fields and the simple working life. This broadly-brushed Harvest near Lannion garnered the highest bid at €28,500. In 1914, right at the start of the Great War, the artist moved to Brittany, where he met Maurice Denis and Paul Sérusier and was won over by the ideas of the Nabis. He abandoned the academic painting he had learned with Fernand Cormon (1845-1924) and adopted a more modern approach, as witnessed in this piece painted in warm colours and considerably imbued with synthetism. It was followed by another painting, Garland-making at Boury-en-Vexin (73 x 100 cm), which fetched €14,500. Summer was succeeded by autumn, then winter, with €4,500 for a snow-covered Farmyard at Le Russey painted on a panel measuring 46 x 62 cm/18.1 x 24.4 in. Giving full rein to the simplicity of his talent, Zingg was the painter of country life, responding to the changing the seasons.

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