Lot 129: Armand Point Alger, 1860 - Naples, 1932 Mélancolie Huile sur toile (Toile d''origine)

Artcurial

November 14, 2016, 7:00 PM CET
Paris, France
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Description: Armand Point Alger, 1860 - Naples, 1932
Mélancolie
Huile sur toile (Toile d''origine)
Signée et datée ''A.Point / -1890-'' en bas à gauche
Toile de la maison Hardy-Alan

Dans son cadre d''origine estampillé ''J.BOYER'' sur les quatre montants

Melancholy, oil on canvas, signed and dated, by A. Point
h: 94 w: 46 cm

Expositions : ''Exposition internationale de peinture'', Paris, galerie Georges Petit, 1890-1891
Salon de 1891, Paris, n° 736
Salon de 1892, Bordeaux, une étiquette déchirée au verso

Bibliographie : Edouard Rod, "Les Salons de 1891", in ''Gazette des Beaux Arts'', t. VI, Paris, 1891, p. 23
Jacques Daurelle et al., ''Armand Point et son oeuvre'', Paris, 1901, p. 54
Robert Doré, ''Armand Point : de l''orientalisme au symbolisme : 1861-1932'', Paris, 2010, p. 29-30


Commentaire : Né en Algérie, Armand Point expose au Salon de 1882 le premier d''une riche série de tableaux d''inspiration orientaliste présents dans les collections nationales, En Tunisie, campagne de 1881. Attiré par la vie parisienne, il vient s''installer à Samois, petit village près de Fontainebleau, avec son épouse en 1889. Cette installation en métropole et la découverte de la lumière de l''Ile de France sont à l''origine d''un tournant dans son art : "Le peintre des luminosités intenses du désert, l''Algérien épris des gammes orangées et azurées, est devenu un amoureux des gris délicats et des expressions douces de la petite vie1".
En 1891, il expose trois toiles au Salon, le Portrait de Mme S[acha] M[uron], Caresse de soleil et Mélancolie, que nous présentons ici. Cette jeune femme aux traits sages entourée de verdure et de fleurs délicates n''est pas sans rappeler la Fillette aux liserons exposée en 1889 (fig. 1), pastel où la nature et les rayons du soleil viennent sublimer le portrait d''une élégante jeune fille "en fleurs", proustienne avant la lettre. La touche toute en légèreté, les reflets et les multiples nuances employés par Armand Point dans Mélancolie évoquent également la technique du pastel.

Il ne s''agit cependant ici pas d''un portrait, mais bien d''une allégorie, comme l''indique le titre de l''œuvre. Le peintre a introduit une dimension symbolique annonciatrice de ses productions futures. Son modèle porte une robe légère d''un jaune pâle presque blanc, ceinte d''une étoffe de la même matière vaporeuse. Au-dessus de cette lumineuse tenue, un voile noir transparent couvre sa tête et sa gorge. La présence de ce voile et l''expression grave de cette jeune fille invitent le spectateur à imaginer qu''elle porte une douleur, peut-être un deuil, propre à la plonger dans cette Mélancolie qu''elle incarne ici. Cette impression est encore soulignée par le mauve des liserons et des pavots. Le regard absent, perdue dans ses pensées, elle effeuille sans sembler s''en rendre compte les fleurs de pavot. Point a ici représenté cette plante à dessein : connu pour ses effets sédatifs, le pavot fut longtemps utilisé pour faciliter le sommeil qui fait souvent défaut aux caractères mélancoliques.
Toutes les caractéristiques qui feront le succès d''Armand Point se devinent dans ce tableau et il parvient ici à sublimer un sujet grave par une lumineuse composition. La beauté féminine, constante dans son œuvre, s''incarne ici dans une délicate jeune femme au teint frais et aux grands yeux clairs. La simplicité de sa tenue, fluide et légère, sobrement nouée à la taille, rappelle les drapés à l''antique tandis que les manches bouffantes entrent en résonnance avec l''imaginaire médiéval qui teintera la production symboliste du peintre.

1. Camille Mauclair, "Armand Point, peintre, fresquiste, émailleur, orfèvre", in ''La Revue des revues'', Paris, 1900, p. 360, cité par R. Doré, op. cit., 2010, p. 29



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Old Master & 19th Century Art

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