1871 - 1956
Oil on paper laid down on canvas; stamped with the studio mark and signed by Isabelle Rouault on the verso canvas.
5.75 x 4 3/8 inches; 14.5 x 11 cms.
Provenance: The Estate of the Artist.
To André Suarès [date unknown].
I have spent a fortnight now scrutinising the same horizon. As in former days when seeing travelling shows, or at fourteen in front of old stain-glass windows, forgetting everything and forgetting myself, I discovered this fundamental truth: a tree outlined against the sky has the same interest, character and the same expression as the human form. The question is how to express this: the difficulty begins there….I felt dwarfed by the task of rendering the colour of a grey wall turning to silver and the naked flesh coloured delightful tones according to the light. The taste of variation in tonality is a joy to the eye and to the mind, but it is also a monumental labour.
The good advisers among my friends said ‘You will soon tire of nature.’ On the contrary, should the obdurate visionary or the epic poet spend a thousand years examining it in diverse and various ways, it would always remain the promising source for new growth.
‘Rouault sur l’Art et sur la Vie’
The ancient artisan loved his stone or his wood. And he worked with love. Anonymous hand of a grandiose work, was he not far superior to so many of the shallow personalities of our age.
In reality, what is beautiful remains hidden. And it has always been so. One must be worthy of searching for it and of persevering until death to find it. There will always be pain and anguish for whoever engages in this quest. But also profound and silent joy.
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