Victor Charreton (1864-1937)
Snow on the Basin
Oil on "finette" signed lower right, Height 73cm x Width 54cm, circa 1925
Work reproduced in Victor Charreton's catalogue raisonné : Life and work, Volume 1 by Robert Chatin, Page 442 n°908 ( imprecise dimensions : 71cm x 53cm )
Victor Charreton was born in 1864 in Isère (France). After studying law in Grenoble, he decided in 1902 to devote himself to his passion, painting. He moved to Paris, and until 1913 he will undertake many trips to capture the light of very different landscapes, from Algeria to Holland, through Spain, England and Belgium.
Charreton is a self-taught and modernist painter. His art is unique, unclassifiable. He will develop his own techniques and his own supports. In his landscapes, colour dominates the drawing which is quickly sketched in pencil on the naked canvas. He paints on the motif, without preparation, and practises painting "in reserves", which lets the support whose colour he uses appear. The material, most often oil paint, is applied directly with a knife or a brush, and the chromatic juxtapositions he makes are frank and audacious.
The power of Charreton's works is comparable to the Fauvist works created by Matisse or Derain when Victor Charreton settled in Paris. Auvergne, Brittany, Provence are the subjects that will remain dear to him all his life.
Our painting represents a garden under the snow. Charreton's snowy subjects are those that have reached the highest prices. Born in the Alps, and in love with the Massif Central, Charreton excels in this representation. It is moreover a painting entitled "La Neige" that the Musée d'Orsay has decided to acquire. In our painting, Charreton has chosen to represent snow by not painting it: he uses the white support, the finette, to represent it. In contrast, the flowers are treated with a very thick, almost sculpted material. The support is the finette that Charreton developed in order to make the colour as pure as possible. On this subject, Robert Chatin writes:
LA FINETTE: In 1923 Charreton discovers the finette. It is a cotton fabric whose reverse side is made fluffy by a scraping process. It is the fluffy side that serves as a support for the pigments... Always in search of a better finish, Charreton constantly researched and experimented with processes that could reduce the disadvantages of oils...". It is better not to mix anything with the colour: the oil is too much". The finette support meets this concern. Having noticed the absorption of the oil by the finette weave, Charreton immediately imagines the advantage to be gained from this "blotting effect": the pigments freed from their carrier will be in a pure state and the quality of their tones will not suffer from the alteration of the oils that carry them. Seventy years later, the validity of Charreton's hypothesis is demonstrated: the pigments have retained the intensity and native freshness of their tones.
Works by Victor Charreton on display :
Paris, Musée d'Orsay and Petit Palais
Price : on request
2 300 €
Price : on request
3 000 €