DESCRIPTION: Georges d ‘Espagnat (1870 – 1950), The harvest of apples, Dimensions: 74 x 92 cm Medium: Oil on Canvas
An artist who created a diverse oeuvre, Georges d’ Espagnat constantly strove for originality and independence, marking a place for himself among the masters. While he was associated with Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841-1919), the Fauvists and the Nabis, d’ Espagnat remained on the outside of these movements, creating a body of work that was uniquely intimate and personal. He became closely acquainted with many of the Impressionists and Post-Impressionists including Renoir, Edouard Vuillard (1868-1940), Albert Andre (1869-1954), Pierre Bonnard (1867-1947) and Maurice Denis (1870-1943).
Born in Melun in 1870, d’ Espagnat’s family moved to Paris when he was a young man. A strongly independent student, he rejected the traditional paths of artistic education available in the capital, claiming to have spent only four hours at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. Instead he attended classes at the free academy and drew at the Musee du Louvre. D’ Espagnat began his public career at the Salon des Refusees in 1891, and later exhibited at the Salon of the Societe Nationale and the Sale des Independents, both venues known for their openness and inclusivity to modern trends. In 1903, d’ Espagnat, along with the architect Jourdain and critic Rambosson, founded the Salon d’Automne with the purpose of creating an alternative exhibition venue for young artists and for retrospectives of the modern artists who had been rejected at the end of the earlier century. D’ Espagnat’s works are Impressionist in inspiration, and work for a certain intimacy, both in their composition and in the choice of colors and treatment with the special hazy brushstroke that marks his style.
Museum collections featuring works by this artist include:
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Musee d’Orsay, Paris
National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.
Grand Palais, Paris
Cleveland Museum of Art, Ohio
Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indiana
Spencer Museum of Art at the University of Kansas
Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, Madrid