Hippolyte PETITJEAN (Mâcon 1854 - Paris 1929)
Watercolour on paper, laid down on board.
Signed hipp Petitjean in violet ink at the lower left.
388 x 587 mm. (15 1/4 x 23 1/8 in.)
Arguably Hippolyte Petitjean’s most distinctive and original contribution as a Neo-Impressionist artist, however, are his vibrant pointillist watercolours, of which the present sheet is a superb example. More often than not, these large watercolours were made as independent works of art, to be sold to French and foreign collectors. 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 in 1955 at the Galerie de l’Institut in Paris.
The present sheet will be included in the forthcoming Petitjean catalogue raisonné, currently in preparation by Stephane Kempa.
E. J. van Wisselingh & Co., Amsterdam
Anonymous sale, London, Sotheby’s, 22 April 1971, lot 37 (bt. Marinoni)
Anonymous sale, London, Christie’s, 2 April 1974, lot 29 (bt. Johnson)
Anonymous sale, Los Angeles, Sotheby Parke-Bernet, 6 June 1978, lot 618
Bel Fine Art, New York
Acquired from them a private collector.