European Art: 19th Century

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Autumn: The Chestnut Gatherers, 1894

Georges Lacombe

French, 1868-1916
Oil on canvas
60-1/8 x 93-1/8 in. (152.7 x 236.5 cm)
Norton Simon Art Foundation
© Norton Simon Art Foundation

On view

Like Sérusier, Vuillard, and Denis, Lacombe was a member of the Nabi brotherhood, a group of artists who drew inspiration from Gauguin and the Synthetists, producing pictures organized around the abstract principles of pattern, color, and surface. This large canvas was meant to represent autumn in a never-completed suite of the seasons destined for the home of the artist’s mother-in-law. The repeating pattern of fallen chestnuts and golden leaves creates an almost musical rhythm, complemented by the dance-like movements of the gatherers, arranged in a graceful frieze. The Nabis increasingly regarded large-scale decorative painting as the highest calling of art.

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