Private collection, California
Léon Giran-Max was a student of Claude Pisarro. He made his reputation painting vibrant landscapes known for their color and sincerity. A firm supporter of progressive exhibition venues, he exhibited at the Salon of the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts on the Champ du Mars and at the Salon des Indépendants, and eventually became a founding member of the Salon d’Automne. His successful reception gained him an international audience and, ultimately, an election as Chevalier of the Legion of Honor. A major exhibition of the artist’s landscapes painted in Pontoise, Nice, and Spain was held at the Galerie Le Barc de Boutteville, Paris in the spring of 1898.
Our painting features the artist’s favorite subject matter: a lush landscape along a riverbank. The female figure recedes into the background as she follows a path into the distance. A beautiful blue sky spotted with white clouds hovers over head. The artist builds up the canvas with thick layers of impastoed paint. This technique creates a particularly luminous effect, giving Giran-Max control over the play of light within the work. Secondly, the thickly applied paint adds to the expressiveness of the picture; the visible brushstrokes allow the viewer to see the strength and speed applied by the artist.