Signed and dated lower right: D. Etcheverry / 1911
Château de Pontchartrain, Jouars-Pontchartrain, France.
Paris, Salon des Artistes Français, 1911, n° 676, reproduced (as Jeunes italiens à la fontaine).
Monaco, XXe Exposition Internationale des Beaux-Arts de la principauté de Monaco, 1912, n°84.
Salon des artistes français, Catalogue illustré de 1911, Paris, Editions Baschet - Bibliothèque des Annales, 1911 (reproduit page 40).
Etienne Charles, « Les Salons de 1911. Société des Artistes Français. Avant le vernissage. -Ce qu’il faut avoir vu, Les peintres de portraits », La Liberté, 29 April 1911, p. 1.
Ch.- Guillaume Janneau, « Les Salons de 1911. Société des Artistes Français. Guide à travers les salles », Le Gil Blas, 29 April 1911, p. 1.
Guillaume Apollinaire, « Le Salon. Fin de la promenade à travers les salles de peinture », L’Intransigeant. Journal de Paris, 3 May 1911, n°11249, p. 2.
Jean Lorédan, « Peinture et sculpture en 1911 », Le Penseur, May 1911, 11e année, n°5, p. 165.
G. de Saint-Loup, « Les Salons de Peinture et de Sculpture en 1911. Artistes Français », L’Eclat de rire, 13e année, n°144, 1911, p. 31.
Catalogue de la XXe Exposition Internationale des Beaux-Arts de la principauté de Monaco, 1912, p.17.
J. Darthenay, « L’exposition du Palais des Beaux-Arts de Monte-Carlo », Le Figaro, 3 February 1912, p. 5.
Gaston Brader, « L’Exposition du Palais des Beaux-Arts de Monaco », Le Matin, 10 February 1912, p. 4.
K. de Martori, « Lettre de Monte-Carlo. Le XXe Salon de Monaco. Exposition internationale de peinture et de sculpture », Le Gaulois, 13 February 1912, p. 4. Catalogue note
Young Italians at the Fountain by Hubert-Denis Etcheverry is one of the painter's mature works, all admired during their exhibitions across Europe. It emphasizes the artist’s classical style in a joyful representation of a fantasized Italy, as the cradle of art.
Hubert-Denis Etcheverry was born in Bayonne, rue Lagréou, on September 21, 1867 into a modest family. He began his apprenticeship in his hometown under the direction of the painter Achille Zo, headteacher of the drawing school and founder of the museum of Paintings. Seeing Etcheverry’s potential, Zo intervened so that he received an annual pension from the city of Bayonne to go to Paris. Hubert-Denis Etcheverry was first in the entrance competition to enter the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in 1889. He followed the classes of Albert Maignan and of his compatriot Léon Bonnat. Two years later, he won the second Grand Prix de Rome in historical painting wit his painting Jupiter et Mercure chez Philémon et Baucis, held at the musée Bonnat-Helleu in Bayonne. The artist received many distinctions at the Salons des Artistes Français: a third class medal in 1895, a second class medal in 1899, and a silver medal at the 1900 Great exhibition. Just after their display, his artworks were bought by the French State to complete its collections (Les Nounous ariégeoise et bretonne, Musée de Toulouse; Un coup de vent à Trouville, Musée d'Orsay), by municipalities to decorate their museums (Saint Michel protégeant une trépassée, musée de Troyes ; Naissance de Pégasse, musée de Pau ; Il ne lisaient plus, Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon ; Saint Patrick convertissant deux nobles irlandaises, musée Bonnat-Helleu) and by the Sociétés des Amis des Arts, promoters of contemporary art at the regional level (Nourrice ariégeoise in 1900, Une élégante et Lune de Miel in 1901; Marché à Ségovie in 1902). Several paintings by Hubert-Denis Etcheverry were popularized on postcards. Hubert-Denis Etcheverry was considered, during his lifetime, as one of the best painters of his generation in Contemporary Artists Dictionary by Edouard-Joseph.
Hubert-Denis Etcheverry exhibited his group of Young Italians at the fountain at the 1911 Salon des Artistes Français. Persons of all ages gathered around a source of living water, sharing the same joy. The painting of gushing water, the central motif in the painting, is a tour de force. The youngest dabbling child, hold by his mother, is the center of interest. In the background two silhouettes of elderly women on the left contemplate the scene. On the right, we distinguish the curves of a sea animal. With their traditional costumes and subtle colors, the Italian women recall those of Ernest Hébert’s paintings, in a less nostalgic rendering. Hubert-Denis Etcheverry delves into the description of the Italian people through a playful genre scene. Young Italians at the fountain holds a unique place in the career of the painter who had hitherto made himself known through portrait, religious and history paintings.
The painting was a resounding success at the 1911 Salon des Artistes Français. It was brought to the attention of art connoisseurs in newspapers by Guillaume Apollinaire who wrote for L’Intransigeant, but also in French newspapers such as Gil Blas, L’Eclat de rire, Le Penseur. Hubert-Denis Etcheverry won the Eugène Piot Prize and 2,000 francs for his display. The following year, he presented it at the XXth Fine Arts Exhibition in Monaco. It was unanimously applauded this time, drawing the attention major French daily newspapers. The art critic of Le Figaro emphasizes on "a composition full of life, beautifully crafted, of a vigorous paste, of a fair color". For Le Gaulois, the painting "of a very detailed drawing and a beautiful impasto" was considered "remarkable by the detail of the costumes, the sketch of the movements and the very thorough study of expressions and types". Finally, the most impressive art review was published in Le Matin:
It is, truly, a masterpiece, where the firmness of the impasto combines with an ideal lightness of certain details that reach the masterpiece. The impasto is, in its vigor, extremely delicate. One must mention, in this beautiful painting, a very sincere effect of gushing water, wisely melted with the brush and of the most artistic effect. This painting is undoubtedly one of the most remarkable of the Monte-Carlo Fine Arts Exhibition.
Hubert-Denis Etcheverry's reputation as a "painter of modern life" was firmly established when he painted Young Italians at the fountain in 1911. His took advantages of his drawing and colorist skills to paint a vibrant composition, based on the careful observation of living models, as appreciated by his long-time supporters. The painter had been present on the European artistic scene since 1887, and exhibited almost continuously until 1950.
22 000 €