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Est: $180,000 USD - $220,000 USDSold:
Sotheby'sMay 06, 2004New York, NY, US

Item Overview


Signed and dated P. Sérusier 90 (lower right)

Tempera on board laid down on panel

Painted circa 1890 according to Jacques Spiess who will inlcude this work in the forthcoming catalogue raisonné.


29 5/8 by 19 7/8 in.<br><br>65.1 by 50.5cm

Artist or Maker


Marcel Guicheteau, Paul Sérusier, Pontoise, 1989, vol. II, p. 88, no. 30, illustrated p. 24



Private Collection (sold: Christie's, New York, May 6, 1998, lot 176)
Acquired at the above sale by the present owner


Painting with Gauguin in 1890 in the Breton coastal village of Le Pouldu, Sérusier sought to communicate the essence of his experience through simplification. By reducing the amount of specific details, the artist moved away from the individual portrait and toward the ideal connection of the villagers to their natural surroundings. With an elegant composition and a reduced palette, the present work depicts a man fishing on the river Laïta, which meets the Atlantic Ocean at Le Pouldu. Caroline Boyle-Turner writes that the artist preferred "the soft, gray light of spring and fall which best characterized the nature of this calm region, all in half-tones." (Caroline-Boyle Turner, Paul Sérusier et la Bretagne, Pont-Aven, 1991, pp. 17-18)

According to Bogomila Welsh-Ovcharov, "Paul Sérusier was also intent on capturing the region's essential character, which, he concluded, differed decidedly from that of Pont-Aven. By late 1889, Sérusier, like Gauguin, was weary not only of Pont-Aven's increasing modernity, but also of working in the confined pretty gardens of the town. By that summer he had evidently been converted to Gauguin's synthesist style and was eager to join him at Le Pouldu. He wrote excitedly to Maurice Denis: 'In several days I am changing my location in order to be closer to the sea, which is so vast, I love it so, it is the sea which has always given me the greatest inspriation. I am leaving the girls with their beautiful white headdresses, in order to study the little girls in rags, yellow, skinny and strong, who keep their cows on the great rocky cliffs among piles of seaweed.'" (Bogomila Welsh-Ocharov, "Paul Gauguin's Third Visit to Brittany- June 1889-November 1890," Gauguin's Nirvana, Painters at Le Pouldu 1889-1890 (exhibition catalogue), Wadswoth Atheneum, Hartford, 2001, p. 21)

Auction Details

Impressionist and Modern Art, Part Two

May 06, 2004, 12:00 AM EST

1334 York Avenue, New York, NY, 10021, US