Oil on canvas, 25 3/5 x 36 1/5 in. (65 x 92 cm). Signed and dated lower left.
Nr. 835 im Catalogue raisonné Collard - Bataille „Emmanuel de La Villeon“, Les Editions de l'Amateur, Paris, 1981.
Price: - sold -
A major work of the famous Impressionist artist.
This painting illustrates one of the admirable subjects from his favorite summer residence, Parc de Salvar, located in the Departement Nièvre. This romantic area west of Burgundy, today the area of the Morvan Natural Park, is known for its richness in flora and fauna. The large acacia trees during flowering, as depicted in this painting are an attraction.
To the biography and work of La Villeon one is able to learn most about by visiting the museum Emmanuel de la Villéon at Fougères, France.
Emmanuel de la Villéon was born in Fougères in 1858. He is one of the last impressionists. He is the painter of the harmony, the quiet enjoyment, the balance, the peasant serenity.
Fougères is in the heart of Brittany, and the de La Villéon home was a great house overlooking the ramparts of the city.
His father was Count Arthur de La Villéon; Emmanuel’s mother, Disonie de la Hubaudiére, died when he was seventeen. She was young and tenderly loved by her five children, and her early death cast a veiled melancholy over the life of Emmanuel, a melancholy whose reflection could at times be seen in his later work.
Emanuel wanted to paint. Finances were no problem for the family, but he had to secure his father’s approval of his plan to go to Paris to study art. Count de La Villéon finally agreed and escorted the young man to Paris himself.
After trying several ateliers he finally decided on the Académie Julian, where he remained for five years until 1885.
In 1888 he made new friends who shared his enthusiasm: Vincent Darasse, Maurice Chabas, Albert Besnard, Maxime Maufra and Carolus-Duran, who was a close friend to Monet as well.
In 1892, Emmanuel de La Villéon married Thérèse de Baudreuil. She was a charming woman of a very musical family, and she initiated her husband into fine classical music. Mozart became de La Villéon’s favorite composer. In alter years, with the advent of radio, de La Villéon listened to Mozart while he painted and often said, “Mozart is my painting.”
From 1890 on, the tempo of painting and exhibitions mounted for de La Villéon. He had paintings in group exhibitions in Angers, Rennes, Paris and Bordeaux; there were one-man shows of his work in Paris; his work appeared in the important Salons; he became a member of the Salon d’Automne.
In 1918, nine large paintings by de La Villéon were exhibited in America.
As always, he painted steadily and his work went to the great Salons and to one-man exhibitions in the leading Paris galleries. Three of his paintings were purchased by the French Government.
He spent his last years with his second daughter, first at Autrans, then in Vienne, and finally in Paris, surrounded by his children and grandchildren who adored him.
When the Second World War broke out, Emmanuel de La Villéon divided his time between Paris and Yonville, where his third daughter lived, still painting.
In 1943 he was preparing for an important retrospective exhibition of his work the following winter in Paris. In November 1943, he went to Paris to make final preparations for it and, in January, contracted pneumonia. He died on January 9, 1944.