Georges Lacombe (1868-1916)
Trois Bigoudènes dans la fôret, 1894-1895
Tempera on ail - 46 x 61.5 cm
Quimper, Musée des Beaux-Arts
Photo : Musée des Beaux-Arts de Quimper
9/11/09 – Acquisition – Quimper, Musée des Beaux-Arts – A student of the Académie Julian starting in 1890, Georges Lacombe was joined there by Emile Bernard and Paul Sérusier in 1892. A sculptor as well as a painter, he quickly joined the Synthetism movement, strongly influenced by the art of Paul Gauguin, which was in the same vein as his own interests and which Sérusier had formalized in The Talisman (1888, Musée d’Orsay). The painting just acquired by the museum in Britanny (ill.) dates from 1894-1895, shortly after Lacombe and Gauguin actually met and reflects the latter’s unmistakable presence.
The forest theme, a magical meeting place for fantastic figures became very obvious after Pierre Puvis de Chavannes, in the Nabis and the Symbolist schools. The Musée des Beaux-Arts de Quimper already held the Forest with Red Soil by Georges Lacombe of 1891, a year before he met Sérusier. The two works are perfectly in tune, both attributing a mysterious and disturbing atmosphere to the forest. The three seated women, wearing the traditional costume and waiting for something which is not explained, also contribute to this strange environment. The work had come up for auction at Christie’s London on 7 February 2007 (and sold for £45,600 – including charges). The museum acquired it from the Galerie du Post-impressionisme in Paris for 90,000€ .