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Rouen and its School

One could believe that the Seine would almost be compulsory for landscape artists from Rouen claiming to be part of the new painting, when Monet and Pissarro so often set up their easels at the water’s edge. Among the “Musketeers” of the Rouen School - Angrand, Lemaître, Frechon and Delattre  - the subject however occupies a very variable position. Angrand devoted several masterful canvases to it, such as La Seine à l’aube* but the posterity of this approach, the fruit of a shortlived pointillist experiment, was limited. Frechon, who was deeply associated with the land, very rarely depicted the motif, while Lemaître quite quickly turned to a repertoire of street scenes.

It is Eugène Delattre who would dedicate the largest place to the river and water, working tirelessly on the quays, then after 1902, around Petit-Couronne, in relative solitude despite the marked support given to him by the collector François Depeaux.

The Seine also occupies a central position in the oeuvre of Albert Lebourg. His painting tries to melt the various elements of the landscape into a vision dominated by the atmosphere, so that it is above all an evocation of an aerial climate, while the theme of water is omnipresent.

In the painting of Robert Pinchon, in the following generation the depiction of reflections is again to be found at the centre of radical pictorial experiments. Like in Monet’s first Impressionist canvases, the challenges posed by the depiction of reflections are an opportunity to free colour, marked this time by the experience of Fauvism.

* Geneva, Petit Palais

La Seine et l'île Lacroix à Rouen en hiver
Albert Lebourg
La Seine et l'île Lacroix à Rouen en hiver

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