IFPDA Print Fair New York
26 October 2017
Georges Rouault, 1871-1958
Sur la Route. On the Road. 1929
Pastel, gouache and watercolour wash drawing. Drawn over a lithograph in black as a base. 1929. Signed and dated in ink. Unique.
The underlying composition, a lithograph in black, was drawn by Rouault as a part of a series which he called ‘Paysages Legendaires – Legendary Landscapes’. In the form here this work is unique. (See below)
Provenance: Private Collection, France.
Joe and Terry Long Collection, USA.
Superb fresh pastel, gouache and watercolour. On pale off-white soft wove paper. Exceptionally fine condition with the pastel unrubbed and sparkling fresh. Full margins. Sheet: 330 x 250 mm. Image: 240 x 170mm.
In 1929 Rouault was working on a series of six compositions under the title of ‘Legendary Landscapes’. These were executed in black and white lithography drawn and printed in an edition of 165 examples at the Duchatel studio in Paris.
Apart from this edition Rouault took one of each of the lithographs as a starting point for a fully worked ‘drawing’ using pastel, gouache and watercolour. The work here is a superb example of this special group. The glowing brilliance of the pastel and gouache gives this work the atmosphere of an ancient ‘icon’ – a quality which was certainly in Rouault’s mind.
Reference (For the black and white lithograph version): Chapon: Rouault L’Oeuvre Grave no 356.
The central inspiration of Rouault’s art was a combination of modern social realism, the life of the working people, and the struggle between those social realist aspirations and his own powerful Catholic faith. In the atmosphere following the First War the changed social world was a dominant influence on many great artists. For Rouault it inspired him to some of the greatest imagery of this era expressed not only through compositional theme but also through a unique intensity of colour – colour which found its roots in the Fauvist work of his first great painting of the 1910 to 1914 period.
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