DescriptionROBERT HENRI (American 1865-1929)
Place In Paris (Place de Breteuil), circa 1895-1897
Oil on panel
10-1/2 x 13-3/4 inches (26.7 x 34.9 cm)
Signed lower left: Robert Henri
Robert Henri Record Book, 257A
During the period 1890-1903, Henri principally painted cityscapes, landscapes, and marine paintings. His interest in painting outdoors began in the late 1880s during his summer months he spent in France. The experience led him to experiment with Impressionism and to paint broadly brushed landscapes which recorded the rich effects of color and the transient effects of light. By 1895, Henri began to adopt a style that was equally bold in paint handling but which emphasized chiaroscuro effects and depended upon a more somber range of color. This approach reflects his admiration for the works of Manet, Hals, Velasquez and Rembrandt as well as seventeenth-century Dutch landscape painting and the nineteenth-century Barbizon School.
Place in Paris was painted sometime between the summer of 1895 and the autumn of 1897 while Henri was living at 49 Boulevard du Montparnasse. It was during this time that he formed a close association with the Canadian artist James Wilson Morrice. They would often go on sketching excursions together in Paris, in the surrounding suburbs of Saint Cloud and Charenton, and to Bois-le-Roi near Fontainebleau. They would sketch on small wood panels or, pochades, spontaneously recording the passing scene. Henri, referred to these works as 'memory sketches' or 'mental sketches,' and carried the panels together with brushes, palette, and a few tubes of oil in a small box that fit into his pocket. When creating such works in Paris he often situated himself at the table of an outdoor cafe (especially the Cafe Versailles in the Place de Rennes), and painted views featuring the surrounding street and crowd. He would cover the entire surface with a single tone, then freely work the subject into it. He generally favored a palette consisting of greens, grays, blacks, and ochre, and emphasized vertically-oriented elements such as lamp posts, columns or churches. The monument featured in this view of the Place de Breteuil near the Invalides was a temporary one that was subsequently replaced by a monument honoring Louis Pasteur. Henri's Parisian pochades led directly to his important New York cityscapes of the first years of the twentieth century.
surface in excellent condition, strong colors; one area of inpainting-oneinch horizontal to lower right margin
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