Johan Barthold JONGKIND (Latrop 1819 - La Côte-Saint-André 1891)

A Farm near Pupetières Sold

Watercolour over a pencil underdrawing on paper; a page from a sketchbook.
A sketch of a man and a dog on a path, drawn in watercolour and pencil, on the verso.
Stamped with the atelier stamp (Lugt 1401) at the lower right and dated 27 Oct 77 at the lower right.
Numbered 6 9 at the lower right.
Numbered 5878 on the verso.
118 x 289 mm. (4 5/8 x 11 3/8 in.)

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Jongkind was a brilliant and gifted watercolourist, and his work in this medium - as well as his interest in working en plein-air and in the study of various weather and atmospheric conditions - were highly influential on the Impressionist painters. As his friend Eugène Boudin noted of Jongkind in 1887, ‘The more one looks at his watercolours, the more one wonders how they are done! It is with almost nothing, and yet the fluidity and density of the sky and clouds are rendered with unbelievable precision.’ Jongkind’s training in the art of watercolour was based on his experiences in the studios of his masters Andreas Schelfhout and Eugène Isabey, both of whom were known for their skill as watercolourists, and was further stimulated by his friendship with Boudin, whom he first met in Normandy in 1862. As a recent scholar has written of Jongkind, ‘The “sketch” under his pencil and brush becomes a major vehicle of expression and, in his oeuvre, often surpasses his oils in quality.’

The present sheet – a page and a half from a small sketchbook – is a fine and typical example of Jongkind’s watercolour technique. During the 1870s the artist tended to prefer an extended horizontal format for his watercolours, often using a double-page spread of a rectangular sketchbook, as here. The scene depicted is a farm near the Château of Pupetières, close to Châbons in the valley of the river Bourbre in the Dauphiné region of France. Jongkind first came to the area in 1873 with his companion Joséphine Fesser, when they came to visit Joséphine’s son Jules, who was working as a chef at the château. Jongkind soon fell in love with the landscape of the Dauphiné, and they returned to the area every summer thereafter. In 1878 Jules Fesser bought a home in the nearby town of La Côte-Saint-André, where Jongkind and Joséphine spent much time, and where the artist is buried.

Jongkind’s landscape watercolours have been highly admired by collectors to this day. The present sheet belonged to the well-known pharmacist and collector Henri Canonne (1867-1961), who was the inventor of the throat lozenge. Canonne owned several watercolours by Jongkind, alongside works by Monet, Renoir, Cézanne, Bonnard, Vuillard, Matisse and others.

In his monograph on Jongkind, published in 1927, the artist Paul Signac, who admired and collected his work, opined that ‘Jongkind’s drawings and watercolors represent the most characteristic aspect of his oeuvre, the one that enables us best to understand and appreciate it. It is also the one that he favored, guarding it jealously in portfolios, reserving it for friends rather than dealers. It was the joy of his life.’

Provenance:
Possibly the ventes Jongkind, Paris, Hôtel Drouot, 7-8 December 1891 or Paris, Hôtel Drouot, 16 March 1893
Henri-Edmond Canonne, Paris
His sale, Paris, Hôtel Drouot, 28 May 1930, lot 61
Mrs. Stephen Millet
Anonymous sale, New York, Doyle’s, 12 June 1963, lot 50.

Literature:
Victorine Hefting, Jongkind: Sa vie, son oeuvre, son époque, Paris, 1975, p.272, fig.691 (as Ferme près de Pupetières); To be reproduced in the Jongkind Catalogue Critique being prepared by the Comité Jongkind, Paris and The Hague, under no.G00006A-H691.

Johan Barthold JONGKIND

A Farm near Pupetières

A1125

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