Feb 11, 2020

Landscape at Le Lavandou

Landscape at Le Lavandou


Nicolas de Stael

(French, 1914–1955)

Oil on canvas

Unframed: 37.8 x 81 cm (14 7/8 x 31 7/8 in.)

Nancy F. and Joseph P. Keithley Collection Gift 2020.121


Did you know?

The favorite artist of French New Wave filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard, De Staël is cited as an influence on the use of primary colors in the 1965 film Pierrot Le Fou.


Nicolas de Stael painted Landscape at Le Lavandou at a major turning point in his artistic development. After years of painting abstract compositions in the studio, he surprised his contemporaries when he began working outdoors in 1952. Seeking greater contact with nature, he spent his last years working largely along the Mediterranean coast. His attempt at reconciling abstraction and figuration, not valuing one over the other, was regarded as a breakthrough toward a more lyrical, French form of abstraction in the tradition of Paul Cézanne, Georges Braque, and Henri Matisse. The long, horizontal composition in this painting is divided into zones of blue and red that evoke associations with land and sea.

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