Gustave Bourgogne, Daffodils - Original mid-20th-century gouache painting


An original mid-20th-century gouache painting, Gustave Bourgogne Daffodils.

A lively gouache painting of daffodils, on a black background. Unlike many of the artist’s other flower paintings, in this picture the plants themselves seem quite naturalistic, not being reduced to a semi-abstract pattern. But again a black background is used, bringing out the intensity of the colours, and the varying thicknesses of the paint, creating a very pleasing effect.

Signed upper left. Inscribed on the mount ‘narcisses.’
Pinhole in the upper right corner, with an additional pinhole in the mounting card behind it. Vertical crease along the left edge, possibly from being historically mounted. Very small paper loss to the lower right corner. Small area of dried glue in the upper right corner edge.
32.2cm x 23.9cm.

This is one of a series of works from a large folio of paintings by Gustave Bourgogne, entitled ‘la Peinture Musicale.’

Gustave Bourgogne (1888-1968) was one of the leading figures in an artistic movement of the Twenties, Thirties and Forties, which tried to create a synthesis between the visual arts and the art of music. Bourgogne was one of the founders, in 1932, of the Association des Artistes Musicalistes. These ‘musicalists’ tried to recreate in paint the emotion that was evoked by a piece of music: to find an equivalent for sound in colour and pictorial form.

In Bourgogne’s case, the inspiration for this approach came in 1928, when he heard the bells of the cathedral at Malines in France. Through a particular form of synaesthesia, Bourgogne experienced these sounds also as colours, and would devote much of his career to the attempt to reproduce in his paintings the feelings that he had when listening to music. In Bourgogne’s words, both music and painting have the same ‘deep rhythm,’ which he sought to express.

Bourgogne specialised in landscapes and still lifes, but as his career progressed, so they became increasingly difficult to distinguish, in their great expressiveness, from his abstract and semi-abstract interpretations of great musical compositions. Frequently, the titles of these paintings cite the specific musical works that inspired them.

The joyfulness and exuberance of the works in our collection belie the fact that many of them were painted during the dark days of the Second World War.

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Product code: JG-719

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