Henri EVENEPOEL (Nice 1872 - Paris 1899)

A Fisherman on a Beach

Watercolour and gouache, with framing lines in brown ink.
Stamped with the artist's monogram he in a circle (not in Lugt) at the lower right.
The artist's monogram also applied to a label stamped PROVENANT DE LA COLLECTION and inscribed Charles De Mey, and further inscribed Pecheur sur la plage / de Henri Evenepoel and Je certifie cette / oeuvre authentique / C. De Mey. on the old backing board.
570 x 411 mm. (22 3/8 x 16 1/4 in.)

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Given its size, this large drawing would seem to have been intended as a design for a poster or advertisement, rather than a book illustration. As the artist's biographer Francis Hyslop has written, 'A born draftsman with an eye to a self-supporting career, Evenepoel took an intense interest in the graphic arts.' He greatly admired and collected posters, prints and magazine or newspaper illustrations by artists such as Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (whose studio he visited, and who he described as 'an artist of immense value…a complete artist'), as well as Jules Chéret, Jean-Louis Forain, Théophile-Alexandre Steinlen and Adolphe Willette. As a means of earning some income in the first years of his brief independent career, Evenepoel designed around a dozen posters. One such poster, advertising the ferry line linking Ostend and Tilbury in Essex, was published in 1893, and includes the same sort of blank cartouche with a curlicued corner seen in the present sheet.

A similarly dressed fisherman appears in another gouache design for a poster by Evenepoel of c.1894, promoting the beach resort of Nieuport-Bains in Flanders. Indeed, the present sheet, which also shows what appears to be the wooden pier at Nieuport-Bains in the background, may have been an unused design for the same poster.

The drawing probably first belonged to Evenepoel's cousin Louise van Mattemburgh (1869-1941), with whom the artist first lived when he arrived in Paris to study at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. He soon fell deeply in love with Louise who, in November 1894, gave birth to a son by him, named Charles. Evenepoel had planned to marry Louise before his sudden death from typhoid in 1899.

Provenance:
The artist's cousin, Louise De May-van Mattemburgh, Brussels
By descent to their son, Charles De May
René Loost (Lust) collection (according to an inscription on the old backing board)
Jay Easton Bush, New York.

Henri EVENEPOEL

A Fisherman on a Beach

A1153

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