Hippolyte Petitjean (1854 - 1929)

Coastal Landscape with Sailboats Sold

Watercolour on buff paper, laid down on card.
Signed hipp. Petitjean in blue ink at the lower right.
378 x 542 mm. (14 7/8 x 21 3/8 in.)


From around 1912 onwards, Petitjean’s watercolours are characterized by more widely spaced dots of pure colour, in which the surface of the paper shows through. 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.’ 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.

A closely comparable pointillist watercolour of sailboats in a bay by Petitjean, of similar dimensions to the present sheet and signed in the same way, is in the collection of the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa.

Private collection, France.


Coastal Landscape with Sailboats


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