Autumn: The Chestnut Gatherers

Georges Lacombe (French, 1868-1916)
Oil on canvas 
60-1/8 x 93-1/8 in. (152.7 x 236.5 cm) 
Credit Line:
Norton Simon Art Foundation 
Accession Number:
© 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.


Gabrielle Questroy Wenger (Lacombe’s future mother-in-law), Versailles, 1894;
Lucien Besnard (d. 1955), Aleçon, by inheritance to;
Mme. Sanlaville (née Besnard);
Mmes. Sylvie Mora and Maldan-Lacombe by 1966.
[Oscar Ghez/Modern Art Foundation, Geneva, by 1966 (sale, London, Sotheby’s, 4 July 1979, lot 231, ill., as Les Ramasseuses de Marrons, to)];
Norton Simon Art Foundation.

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