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Henri Eugène Augustin le Sidaner

(1862 - 1939)

Henri Le Sidaner was born at Port Louis on the island of Mauritius, 7th August 1862. He returned to France with his family and in 1880 enrolled at the École des Beaux-Arts where he studied under Alexandre Cabanel (1823-1889). Following his academic training Le Sidaner, an admirer of the Impressionists, lived and worked in Étaples on the Normandy coast. In 1891 he first exhibited in Paris at the Salon des Artistes Français where he was awarded a bronze medal at the Universal Exposition. This same year he moved to Beauvais and subsequently to Gerberoy sur l’Oise. In 1905 Le Sidaner travelled to Venice producing a series of works that were shown to huge acclaim in London and Paris at the Salon in 1906. Le Sidaner has been described as ‘the last of the Impressionists’, he was a considerable admirer of their work and clearly influenced by them and their use of light and approach to nature. The admiration worked both ways. Alfred Sisley (1839-1899) was the owner of “Soir”, and it was for such paintings, exploring the light effects at dusk or in the mist that Le Sidaner was to become so widely known. Closely associated with the Symbolists, Le Sidaner, following his move to Beauvais painted more garden scenes, still lifes, and views of old houses, his broken brushwork being reminiscent of that of Georges Pierre Seurat (1859-1891). He continued to travel, painting in Brittany, Belgium, the Île-de-France and in the South of France, many of his composition town scenes or buildings seen at dusk. Le Sidaner was created a Chevalier of the Legion of Honour and died in Versailles in 1939. His works can be found in museums in: Châlons; Douai; Dublin; Dunkirk; Nantes; Paris; Rome and Pittsburgh.