Hippolyte PETITJEAN (French 1854 - 1929)

The Wave

Watercolour on buff paper.
323 x 250 mm. (12 3/4 x 9 7/8 in.)


The present sheet is a fine example of what are arguably Hippolyte Petitjean’s most distinctive and original works; his vibrant pointillist watercolours. These were often made as independent works of art, to be sold to French or foreign collectors. The range and variety of Petitjean’s pointillist watercolours were only rediscovered several years after his death, at a centenary exhibition of the artist’s work held at the Galerie de l’Institut in Paris in 1955. As one modern scholar has noted, ‘As with most of [Petitjean’s] works, his watercolors are not dated, nor are their locations identified. In executing them, he employed the divided color technique very freely, applying dabs of color in a loose network that allows the white of the paper to show through...in his pure landscapes the artist takes a more individual approach, subtly modulating the different areas of color to suggest gradual spatial recession or the light effects of a setting sun.’

A comparable pointillist study of waves by Petitjean is in the collection of the Princeton University Art Museum in Princeton, New Jersey.

A photo-certificate from Stéphane Kempa accompanies the present sheet, which will be included in his forthcoming catalogue raisonné of Petitjean’s work.

The studio of the artist, with the atelier stamp (Lugt 2022c) in red at the lower right
Private collection, Paris.


The Wave


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