Henri Le Sidaner
"Fillette au jardin"
HENRI LE SIDANER
Port Louis, Mauritius 1862-1939 Versailles
FILLETTE AU JARDIN
Oil on canvas
60 x 38 cm.
Signed and annotated: lower right ‘Sissi Thaulow/Le Sidaner’
Provenance: Pillon, Calais auct. 05-07-1998 lot. no. 78; Sotheby's, New York auct. 14-05-1998, lot.no. 418.
Henri Le Sidaner moved to France in 1871. He started his education at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, but he soon realized that he preferred to stay in the country, where he could develop his own, unique style. According to his friends – painters and writers – Le Sidaner was a cordial and amicable man who seeked loneliness. The few he said was thoughtful and fascinating. In 1885, Le Sidaner found solitude in the coastal city Étaples. Around this time, figures were still of great importance in his work; later on they would disappear. When he left Étaples in 1894, he visited multiple places in Italy, Belgium and The Netherlands before he settled in Gerberoy. Just like Monet, a great inspiration for Le Sidaner, he created a large garden around his house which became the main ‘character’ in his paintings. While there are similarities in the work of Le Sidaner and Monet, the both artists used light in completely different ways. Monets work is drenched in sunlight, while Le Sidaner was the artist of the diffuse light: the light that shone through the leaves or was reflected on a wet surface. He applied the paint on the canvas in small, accurate strokes and in many layers. Because of that structure, the paintings gained a mysterious haze.
Probably through his contact with the painter William Henry Singer, Le Sidaner got in touch with the Norwegian family Thauwlow, of the painter Frits Thaulow. The portrayed girl is most likely the young daughter of Frits, who settled in 1892 in Dieppe for some years.