Lever de lune
Oil on cardboard, ca. 1891
Signed on the back C Guilloux
220 x 328 mm
The artists heirs; Private collection, Paris
A gem by Charles Guilloux that holds the seductive atmosphere of the artist’s unique vision. Discovered by the critic Roger Marx in 1891, Guilloux achieved his recognition with a very personal artistic vision. As Seurat, he was passionate by the colour’s theories developed by the chemist Michel-Ernest Chevreul. He also learned from neo-impressionist paintings, as well as from the Nabis and impressionist works at the Salon. From 1892, he exhibited at the Salon des Indépendants, as well as in the avant-garde gallery Le Barc de Boutteville, along with Paul Signac, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec and the Nabis. While he possessed the chromatic knowledge of Seurat, and he understood Monet’s research about the visual sensation of the atmosphere, he gathered these influences to create his very own aesthetic universe. Depicting landscapes around Paris and in Brittany, his researches brought him to a radical evolution in 1892. He developed an extreme simplification of landscapes: a succession of coloured surfaces uninhabited, with a bright sky animated by fantastic clouds. At the Salon des Indépendant of 1892, his synthetized landscapes were celebrated by the critics, and eight of them were sold during the Salon.
Guilloux here unfolds yet another facet of his artistic universe. By representing a moon rising, the artist achieved the prowess to render this velvet luminous effects with a remarkable economy of means. The blue and gold sky occupies half the composition, focusing our attention towards the astral sphere. From 1892, he limited his painting to a few types of patterns and reached a visual unity thanks to pure shades and expressive lines. This refined and poetic vision, almost Japanese, constituted a new way to interpret nature as well as, at the same time, maintaining its direct impression. Solely achieved with a selective palette of soft shades, this poetic landscape is much more than the work of a colourist.