Sale 0517 Lot 62
Georges d’Espagnat was born in Melun, France in 1870. His family moved to Paris when he was eighteen. D’Espagnat was independent from the start, rejecting traditional artistic education at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and choosing instead classes at the Academie Colarossi. He spent most of his time at the Louvre, drawing from the works of Delacroix, Rembrandt and Rubens. In 1890, he travelled to Italy to see firsthand Venetian masterworks by Titian and Tintoretto.
In 1891, D’Espagnat exhibited his work for the first time at the Salon des Refusees. He would later exhibit at the Salon of the Societe Nationale and the Salon des Independents. All of these venues were known for their avant-garde exhibitions and openness to modern trends. In 1895, he participated in his first solo exhibition at the Galerie Durand-Ruel in Paris, where he continued to exhibit thorughout his life. In 1902 he would have a solo exhibition at Durand-Ruel in New York City.
In 1903 D’Espagnat, together with architecht Frantz Jourdain and critic Ivanhoe Rambosson, founded the Salon d’Autumne. The Salon d’Autumne promoted the work of young, modern artists and hosted retrospectives of modern artsits whose work had been rejected in the second half of the 19th century.
D’Espagnat was closely acquainted with many of the Impressionists and Post-Impressionists including Renior, Vuillard, Andre, Bonnard and Denis. From 1900-1910 he visited Renoir on numerous occasions in the Cote d’Azur, their friendship and artistic exchage is well-documented.
“Le Repos” probably dates to the early 1900s when D’Espagnat was particularly influ-enced by Renior and other late Impressionists. The patterened interior, flatness and dark outlines reflect works by contemporary Initimist painters Vuillard and Bonnard. The softness and dreamy, restful pose of the woman alludes to Renoir’s figures.
D’Espagnat works are collected in numerous museums and public collections including the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Musée Royal des Beaux-Arts, Brussels, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, the Art Institute, Chicago, Indianapolis Museum of Art, the Pushkin Museum, Moscow, the Musée d’Orsay, the Musée d’Art Moderne, Musée Eugène Delacroix, Bibliotheque Nationale and Palais de l’Institut, Paris Musée de l’Annonciade, Saint-Tropez, Musée d’Art Moderne et Contemporain, Strasbourg, Musée Lambinet, Versailles, Mueso Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid and the National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo. The Robert Lehman Collection at the Metropolitan Museum in New York City contains more paintings by Georges D’Espagnat than any other 19th or 20th century artist.