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Photo credit: Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University

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Title: M. Julien Leclercq et sa femme (Portrait of Julien Leclerq and his wife)
Date: ca. 1898
Medium: Pastel on laid paper
Dimensions: Image: 18 1/4 x 23 1/2 inches (46.4 x 59.7 cm); Frame: 27 x 32 1/2 inches (68.6 x 82.6 cm)
Credit Line: Gift of Mrs. Seymour Meyer in memory of Seymour Meyer, Class of 1936
Object Number: 69.011
Label Text: Until the 1966 retrospective of his work at two museums in France, Schuffenecker was best known for his close relationships with Gauguin, Pissarro, Bernard, and Redon, as well as for organizing the famous Volpini Exhibition of Synthetist Art as an alternative to the official Salon at the Paris World’s Fair of 1889.

Schuffenecker’s initial academic training under Carolus-Duran and Baudry passed through an intermediary divisionist state strongly influenced by Seurat and Monet. After 1892 his work entered a mystical, dream-like phase, reflecting his involvement with the
Rose + Croix Salon and Theosophy.

In this double portrait of his close friend Julien Leclerq, an avant-garde art critic and poet, and Leclerq’s Finnish wife, pianist Fannie Flodin, Schuffnecker falls squarely in his symbolist period in which he struggled “for art and the ideal.” The chalkiness of the line is emphasized with spare areas of white where the paper shows through, giving the drawing a feeling of light and air. The figures, particularly their faces, are given the most attention, the details contrasting with the vagueness of an undetermined background and the sketchily drawn furniture.

Schuffenecker, like Leclerq, was one of the first French collectors of van Gogh, and, with Theo van Gogh’s widow, mounted the first retrospective of the artist’s work in 1901.("FIGURE/STUDY: Drawings from the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art," text by Nancy E. Green and presented at Cartlon Hobbs, LLC January 25-February 2, 2019)

NOTE: This electronic record is compiled from historic documentation which may not reflect the Johnson Museum's complete or current knowledge of the object. Review and refinement of such records is ongoing.