Cliffs in Étretat is a unique example of French Post-impressionism and represents the oeuvre of one of its leading exponents, Gustave Loiseau. Works by this artist, attractive for collectors and viewers alike, appears only rarely on the Czech art market.
Since the 1890s the name of this exceptionally sensitive landscape artist has been connected with the Brittany artists’ colony surrounding Paul Gauguin, known as the Pont-Aven School. However, Loiseau never built on its modern artistic vision and new directions (Synthetism and Cloisonnism); on the contrary, he remained faithful to Impressionism in its purest form. He continued the tradition of outdoor landscape painting, discovering the fleeting magic of the landscape in its transience, transformations in color, and light and dark moods in an effort to capture its natural beauty, as seen in paintings by Claude Monet and Camille Pissarro. He gradually created his own specific style of pointillist painting, the characteristic application of pure spots of color one next to another, emphasizing the essential interaction of light, clear, bright and yet unburdened color, and the airy mood of the depicted scene. He developed these principles in seemingly everyday scenes of the Breton and Norman landscapes, where he spent the summer months. Loiseau is often called a natural talent who did not follow the directions of the period or the recommendations of others, instead carving his own path of unique sensual experience from the seen world. His extraordinary talent and painterly qualities earned him many admirers in 1890s Paris, including the prominent gallerist and primary patron of the French Impressionists Paul Durand-Ruel. He fully defended his uniqueness in around 1910, when he sparked a sensation with his special method of cross-like brushstrokes reminiscent of hatching (“en treillis” / “touche croisée”).
The painting offered here, from the collection of an important Czechoslovak diplomat during the First Republic and ambassador in Paris, Stefan Osuský, may be considered a beautiful, profoundly poignant and highly valuable work that corresponds to a unique understanding of Impressionism in all respects, corresponding to the artist’s expression “I am led by instinct and I am proud that I am not like the others.”