James Wilson Morrice
1865 - 1924
Le repas de la fermière
oil on canvas
signed and on verso titled on the Galerie Walter Klinkhoff label
24 1/4 x 18 1/4 po, 61.6 x 46.4 cm
Estimation : $30,000 - $40,000
Exposition à : Heffel Toronto – 13 avenue Hazelton
Galerie Walter Klinkhoff Inc., Montreal
Warwick Gallery, Vancouver
Private Collection, Vancouver
In 1896, James Wilson Morrice was living in France, and during February of that year, he spent time based at the hamlet of Brolles (Bois-le-Rois), while sketching in the forest of Fontainebleau. It was in this forest that the Barbizon artists Camille Corot, Charles F. Daubigny and Théodore Rousseau had worked on landscape paintings. While in Brolles, Morrice would have seen the cottages of the peasant people of the area, the source of his subject. Also in Brolles at the same time as Morrice was Canadian artist Albert Curtis Williamson, who produced a painting entitled A Cold Day based on the same woman, with a similar palette.
In this fine painting, Morrice effectively used a moody palette with close, darkened tonal values; greens infused with ochre and pale chalky plum highlighted by areas of cream. His use of light is masterful – it cuts through the dark interior, striking the woman’s face and cape, raking across her pale bowl and illuminating the wall behind her. Le repas de la fermière is a rare and sensitive depiction of this rural peasant woman, and it shows Morrice’s empathy for his subject.
We thank Lucie Dorais for her assistance in cataloguing this work. This painting is included in the catalogue raisonné on the artist’s work that is being compiled by Dorais.
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