Le Village Sur La Colline (c.1925)
MAURICE CHABAS (1862-1947)
Oil on panel; signed bottom left
In period frame
French painter Maurice Chabas was born in Nantes 1862 and studied at the Académie Julian. He debuted at the Salon des Artistes Français in 1885 (an event at which he would continue to exhibit until 1913) and became a prominent artistic figure in interbellum France. He co-founded the Salon de Tuileries in 1923, alongside artists such as Charles Dufresne (1876–1936) by which time Chabas had already begun to experiment with elements of the neo-impressionistic style. It was during this period, however, that he began in earnest to place particular emphasis on the spiritual elements of his paintings. In a letter of 1935, Chabas writes, ‘Humanity as it is currently requires a higher ideal. We can no longer live in imbalance creating the disharmony that leads to destruction and death. It takes the Spirit to give life to matter and works’. It was also in this interval that, in recognition of his achievements, Maurice Chabas was invested as a Chevalier of the Légion d’Honneur. In the last years of his life, Maurice Chabas became something of a recluse, segregating himself from the outside world including his family devoting himself to his contemplation of the relationship between art, the spiritual and the divine. He would sustain this hermitic mode de vie until his death in Versailles in December 1947.
Maurice Chabas’s work has been offered at auction multiple times, the record price being $18,437 USD for Bateaux sur une fleuve, probablement autour de Bougival, sold at Christie’s Paris in 2006.