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In 1908, Maurice Denis acquired a property in Perros-Guirec. From then on, he stayed in the region every summer and tirelessly painted the local landscape. In this 1914 work, he shows the peasants at work in the wheat fields. Judging by the shape of the Tomé island in the background, the view was painted from Louannec, on the east side of the Perros harbor. The white light brings out the contrasting orange of the ears of wheat, the light green of the fields, and the turquoise blue of the sea and sky.
In 1906, Maurice Denis referred to Claude Monet in the following terms: "[In 1885] the Impressionists were beginning to exert their influence; no one could continue to deny the immense talent of Claude Monet, whose whole work was a perpetual hymn of praise to the Sun, just as his series were like litanies." (Maurice Denis, 'Chronique de peinture,' L’Ermitage, no. 12, December 15, 1906, p. 321). The artistic sensitivity demonstrated in these remarks are echoed powerfully in this study from 1914.
As the theorist of the Nabis group, Denis invented a formula which revolutionized the conception of painting in the 20th century. According to him, it had to be remembered that a painting, “before being a battle horse, a naked woman, or some anecdote or another, is essentially a flat surface covered with colours assembled in a certain order” ([Pierre Louis] Maurice Denis, 'Notes d’Art. Définition du néo-traditionnisme', Art et Critique, no. 65, August 23, 1890, p. 540).

Vanessa Lecomte

Details

  • Title: White Sun on the Corn
  • Creator: Maurice Denis
  • Date Created: 1914
  • Location: Giverny, musée des impressionnismes, don de Claire Denis, 2012, MDIG 2012.6.1
  • Physical Dimensions: 29 x 34 cm
  • Rights: © Giverny, musée des impressionnismes
  • Medium: Oil on canvas

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