Lines and Colors art blog

Henri Le Sidaner

French painter and pastel artist Henri Le Sidaner (Eugéne Augustin) began academic training at the l’École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, briefly studying under Alexandre Cabanel, but soon rejected that pursuit in favor a fascination with the paths into broken color and light being blazed by the Impressionists.

Le Sidaner is best known as an Intimist painter. Intimism is one of the less familiar of the “isms”, whose primary proponents were Pierre Bonnard and édouard Vulliard. Other practitioners include Edmond Aman-Jean.

It was essentially a form of genre painting that in some ways bridged Post-Impressionism and Symbolism, borrowing the broken color and flurry of almost Pointillist brushstrokes from the former, and the emotional content from the latter.

The name refers to the frequent subjects of quiet room interiors, intimate garden scenes and small views of landscape. Le Sidaner often portrayed table settings in gardens, soft nocturnes, and almost tonalist scenes of canals and waterways.

Unlike the Impressionists, who sought to portray light with fidelity to nature, La Sidaner and the other Intimists put their intense strokes of color in service of the emotion or mood with which they wished to infuse the scene.


2 responses to “Henri Le Sidaner”

  1. Thanks for the post on Le Sidaner. It is a shame there’s no book on English on him. Five years ago I had luck to come across his exhibition catalogue in Museum d’Orsay, Paris.
    The exhibition took place in 1996/97.
    Both catalogue and reproductions could be larger, but…better something than nothing.
    Btw, check out the works of another intimist from the period, Croatian painter Emanuel Vidovic:

    1. Wonderful! Thanks, Valentino, I’ll add him to my list of future topics.

      Other readers can check out Valentino Radman’s blog here, and his web site, featuring both paintings and illustrations, here.