Old Road to Auvers
(Norbert Goeneutte)


The small town of Auvers-sur-Oise, pictured here, became, during the late 19th century, a landscape subject for some of the period’s greatest artists. Cézanne, van Gogh, Guillaumin, in addition to Goeneutte, as seen in this work, all captured views of the town’s country roads and thatched roof cottages. A younger generation of artists, Cézanne for one, settled in the area to be near the already renowned and admired Camille Pissarro, who, with his family lived in the nearby town of Pontoise. Pissarro introduced the new postimpressionists, including Cézanne and Vincent van Gogh, to a local homeopathic doctor and amateur collector named Dr. Paul Gachet, with whom the artists established lasting relationships. Dr. Gachet, who willingly accepted paintings in return for his medical services, before long amassed an impressive collection of works by the new artists. Gachet should certainly be credited with helping to nurture an artistic community in Auvers, setting-up studio spaces, encouraging the group to experiment with etching and print-making techniques, publishing illustrated periodicals at his own expense and even going so far as to rescue discarded canvases from the rubbish.

Dr. Gachet probably first met Goeneutte in 1889; the painter was already seriously ill with tuberculosis. He settle in a house, doubtlessly very similar to the one depicted here, near the doctor from whom he received treatment and with whom he worked on various etchings. Goeneutte’s portrait of Dr. Gachet, requested by the minister of fine arts soon after its exhibition, was hung immediately after Gachet donated the work to the Musée du Luxembourg.[1] Cézanne to Van Gogh: The Collection of Dr. Gachet, Anne Distel and Susan Alyson Stein (The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1999)

28 ¼ x 20 7/8 inches (72 x 53 cm.)
Oil on canvas

PROVENANCE: Reine Goeneutte, elder sister of the artist; Docteur Bidon, by inheritance to C.E. Bidon; Private collection.


LITERATURE: G. de Knyff, La Vie de Norbert Goeneutte, Paris, 1978, p. 172; To be included in the forthcoming catalogue raisonné of the works of Norbert Goeneutte by Norbert George Goeneutte.


EXHIBITIONS: Paris, Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts, Exposition Norbert Goeneutte, April 20-30, 1895, no.7.
Matthiesen Gallery and Stair Sainty Matthiesen, ‘The Gallic Prospect’, 1999

Historical Period
Modern - 1890-1930
1999-An Eye on Nature II: The Gallic Prospect. French Landscape Painting 1785-1900.
Hard back catalogue of the Exhibition held in New York. 195 pages fully illustrated with 37 full colour plates and 65 black and white illustrations (many full page). Forward by Patrick Matthiesen and Guy Stair Sainty. Introduction by Guy Stair Sainty. £35 or $50 inc. p.&p.

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