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    Louis Marie de Schryver (French, 1862-1942)
    Paris - La rue du Havre, 1893
    Oil on canvas
    29 x 36-1/2 inches (73.7 x 92.7 cm)
    Signed and dated lower right: Louis De Schryver / 1893
    Titled, dated, signed, and inscribed on the reverse: "Marchand de fleurs" / Paris / Paris - La rue du Havre / Avril - Juillet 1893 / Louis de Schryver / 2nd oc. 1893


    Richard Green, London;
    Private collection, Louisiana.

    Louis Marie de Schryver exhibited his first work at the 1876 Salon at the unusually young age of thirteen. An extraordinarily precocious talent, the artist made his debut with two still-life paintings: Marguerites et Chrysanthèmes (Marguerites and Chrysanthemums) and Violettes et Fleurs Printanières (Violets and Spring Flowers). He would continue working in his favored genre of still life painting for several more years, exhibiting at the following two Salons, and winning a bronze medal at the 1879 World's Fair of Sydney for his painting entitled Lilas (Lilacs) at the age of 17.

    By 1886, de Schryver, like many artists of this period, had turned his attention to the subject of daily life in Paris. Depictions of fashionable society on the streets of the French capital had become increasingly popular during the period of La Belle Époque, as artists became fascinated with the fleeting moments of city life. These painters strove to capture everything from the bustle of stylish women to the architectural monuments of a recently modernized Paris.

    Among the most documented architectural monuments in nineteenth-century Paris was the Gare-Saint-Lazare, which serves as the stately backdrop of the present work. The oldest, largest and busiest railway station in France, the station had undergone a recent renovation in 1885, and among fin-de-siècle painters wanting to capture snapshots of modern life, it became a symbol of modernity, and thus a frequent presence in their views of Paris. Advances in industrial technology and train travel, intrinsic to the experience of the bourgeoisie in France, were mesmerizing to artists including Monet, who made twelve paintings of the station from various viewpoints and at different times of day. In the hands of Manet, the station became the central but highly enigmatic protagonist of his seminal statement on the force of modernity, The Railway of 1873: clouds of steam belched up from a train passing below two figures, a well-dressed woman and child, powerfully imply the presence of station whose behemoth structure the viewer cannot actually see.

    This masterwork by de Schryver encapsulates all of the elements central to his artistic development, including a focus on a glorious and bountiful floral still life, the portrayal of a fleeting moment in daily city life, a depiction of society women in elegant dress-set together against the oft-painted Gare-Saint-Lazare, on the Rue de Havre, which served as a kind of red carpet ushering travelers to the station and away from it, straight into the heart of Paris.

    De Schryver's views of Paris had become extremely popular and critically acclaimed at the time the present work was executed. Praise was lavished on the artist not only for his technical skill, but for the spontaneity of his compositions. His depictions of flower vendors, horses and carriages, and sophisticated city-dwellers were saturated with a realism and light that positioned de Schryver at the pinnacle of Belle Époque artists. Gérald Schurr, an art collector and French journalist, wrote appreciatively, "Schryver demonstrates accents of passion, outbursts of pure color and tones which ring true. His scenes of Paris are often bathed in a light of rare subtlety." (Les Petits Maîtres de la Peinture 1820 - 1920, Paris: Éditions de l'Amateur, 1986, pg. 173). Indeed, imbued with jewel-like color, a dignified elegance, soft light, and keen attention to detail, Paris - La rue du Havre is a tour-de-force of the artist's oeuvre, painted at the height of his career.

    Condition Report*: Unlined canvas; craquelure, most notably in upper half of work with areas of slight lifting in sky and a few tiny flakes of loss; however, majority of the surface is stable; under UV light, there appears to be no inpaint. Framed Dimensions 36.75 X 44.25 Inches
    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Some condition issues may not be noted in the condition report but are apparent in the provided photos which are considered part of the condition report. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. Heritage does not guarantee the condition of frames and shall not be liable for any damage/scratches to frames, glass/acrylic coverings, original boxes, display accessories, or art that has slipped in frames. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    December, 2016
    7th Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
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