The Banks of the Seine between Bercy and Ivry, Paris, c. 1877-1882
Oil on canvas, H. 0.37 m; W. 0.66 m
Signed lower left: S. Lépine
Label on the back of the frame: GALERIE SCHMIT / 396 rue Saint Honoré – Paris 1er / EXPOSITION LÉPINE / du 15 mai au 15 juin 1968 / 29 – PARIS, LE POINT DU JOUR
Label on the back of the stretcher: GALERIE SCHMIT / 396 rue Saint Honoré – Paris 1er / EXPOSITION STANISLAS LÉPINE / Du 5 Mai au 21 Juillet 1993 / no 39 : « Les bords de Seine entre Bercy et Ivry »
Provenance: Baron Flanquet de Fulde, Paris
His Sale, Hôtel Drouot, 12 March 1900, no. 44
Georges Petit, Paris, 5 May 1905, no. 30
Georges Bernheim, Paris
Galerie Schmit, Paris, exh. cat. Lépine, 15 May – 15 June 1968, p. 72, no. 29 (ill.).
Galerie Schmit, Paris, exh. cat. Stanislas Lépine, 5 May – 21 July 1993, no. 39 (ill.).
Robert et Manuel Schmit, Stanislas Lépine (1835-1892), catalogue raisonné de l’œuvre peint, Paris, 1993, p. 147, no. 340 (ill.).
Stanislas Lépine settled in Paris in 1855. Between 1860 and 1875, he frequented Corot’s studio, and reproduced several of the artist’s works. He met Fantin-Latour who, on more than one occasion, helped him financially. Unknown in his time, Lépine always remained isolated from any group. Through the lightening of his palette, and the pleasure he took in the depicting changes in weather in urban settings, he foreshadowed the impressionist painters, alongside whom he incidentally exhibited in 1874.
In the present picture, the lines of the composition conform to tradition, but both the colours and the brushwork move away from the classical method. The light no longer unifies the surface but, on the contrary, isolates basic elements, each of which has its own colour and tone. The strokes, made from the tip of the paintbrush, help convey a sense of the ephemeral nature of the moment.