Paris 1840 – 1885 Charenton-le-Pont
Le Requiem du Rossignol
Oil on canvas : 148,9 X 74,2 cm
Signed and dated upper left “André Gill 1876”
Frame : 159,8 X 85,4 cm
André Gill was a famous 19th century French cartoonist who turned to painting after the Parisian Commune (1871), at a time when the new French government did not appreciate humour or satire. Our painting dates from 1876.
Gill gave a very personal meaning to “The nightingale”, a literary fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen: the emperor of China was
saved from depression by the natural sound of a nightingale after the breakdown of his mechanical bird. Our painter instead favours the artistic sound of a violin above the natural sound of a whistling bird.
Sadly neither music nor art could save Gill when his first-born child, a son, died in 1880 at the age of six months. He was slowly driven crazy from grief.