Gustave Bourgogne, Walled Garden - Original 1941 gouache painting


An original 1941 gouache painting, Gustave Bourgogne Walled Garden.

A vibrant gouache painting, with graphite underdrawings, of a walled garden with trees, laid down on backing card. This luminous work shows the influence of the Fauves, with its outlines of trees picked out in blue, and billowing whites and pinks in the tree foliage. It evokes the soft light of the south of France, with its associations of peacefulness and love of life.

Signed and dated lower right. Inscribed lower left: 'Clavé Manoir Cannes'.
Minor foxing and light overall age toning as shown. Some wear and a very small paper loss to the upper left side edge. Majority of the painting has come loose from backing paper, with only glue remaining in the upper right corner. 
10.9cm x 17.3cm.

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 synesthesia, 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-704

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