A beautiful Oil on Panel painting of The Church at Saint Calais by Fernand Legout Gérard.
In a departure from his usual standard, often depicting scenes of the life in Brittany, the artist chose a city and church view, that of Notre-Dame de Saint Calais.
Saint Calais is a small town in the Sarthe region of the Pays de Loire.
This work was probably created by the artist during a stopover between Concarneau and Paris, as it lies between the two towns.
Moreover, the annotation on the reverse reads “L’église de St Calais vue du jardin du Dr Charbonnière” and is dated 1893.
This suggests that he knew the Doctor, painted from his garden and perhaps stayed at his home.
We have found a photo of the probable location which we are including in the photos displayed.
The finesse and care of this painting are remarkable. The details of the church are extraordinarily well reproduced.
The choice of colors is judicious, perfectly rendering the dazzling whiteness of the tuffeau, the stone used in the Pays de Loire region, against the sky and contrasting with the tones of the vegetation.
Finally, the framing, which from this narrow garden, lengthens the perspective and enhances the majestic effect of the holy edifice proudly raising its steeple towards the divine. Only the flight of pigeons animates this moment of absolute tranquility.
A magnificent work by Fernand Legout-Gérard, masterfully interpreted with bucolic charm.
After an earlier career as a controller, Legout Gerard, decided at the age of 33, to give up his original profession for his passion: painting.
He settled in Concarneau and became a major painter of Breton scenes, painting churches, markets, fairs, and fishing trips.
His paintings often feature characters in traditional costumes and picturesque scenes.
He remains one of the most representative painters of the “Concarneau group”.
From 1889, he exhibited at the Salon des Artistes Français, then at the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts from 1894. He was promoted to Officer of the Légion d’Honneur on February 28, 1924.
His works can be found in many museums, including the famous Musée d’Orsay.
The framed work measures 13 ¼” x 9 ¾”
The Panel measures 10 ½” x 7″