Émile Claus - London (Waterloo Bridge) - image-1

Lot 213 Rα

Émile Claus - London (Waterloo Bridge)

Auction 1004 - overview Cologne
30.11.2012, 00:00 - Modern Art
Estimate: 80.000 € - 100.000 €
Result: 91.500 € (incl. premium)

Oil on canvas 61 x 50.2 cm, framed. Signed, dated and titled 'E. Claus [C and l joined]/ London/ 1918' in dark red lower left. The reverse additionally signed and inscribed 'E. Claus [C and l joined]/ London/ 1918' in green. - The canvas framed with grey-tinted wooden bars nailed into a new chassis; somewhat wavy in the corners. Minor retouchings along the edges, mainly to left margin.

Emile Claus is considered the most important representative of Impressionism in Belgium. He started out painting realistic portraits and doing genre paintings depicting life in the country. From 1889 to 1902, Claus spent the winter months in Paris, where he engaged in a lively exchange with other artists, for example with Henri Le Sidaner or Constantin Meunier. Under their influence, he took up the painting style of the French Impressionists. He was very skilful in his ability to combine painting which was true to nature and impressionist in it's approach with a definite brighter and distinct palette. Landscape pictures, especially of his Flemish homeland, now became his primary interest. The artistic investigation of the possibilities for depicting light took on foremost importance for him. In order to capture the constantly new variations of form and light, Emile Claus carried out many different versions of his motifs, often at different times of the day or in different seasons as Monet had done, an artist he particularly admired.
Due to the outbreak of the First World War, Emile Claus fled to England in October 1914, where he lived until 1918. In London he rented a studio on the fifth floor of the 'Monbray House', situated on the bank of the Thames. Here, he painted many views of the Thames, rendering the perspective from his studio window looking out in either direction, to London Bridge and to Waterloo Bridge. These works show the river in London's fog, in rain or snow, immersed in the colours of the dawn or in dusk atmosphere. At times he only repeated details from larger pictures. Turquoise green and bright orange are the dominant colour combinations in the painting presented here. The paint has been applied in countless short, sometimes gentle sometimes energetically applied strokes. Claus abandoned details in favour of an atmospheric depiction. Depending on varying light conditions, it is surprising how different the colours appear.


Collection Rodolfo Hurtado, Santiago de Chile; Joaquin Santa Cruz Ossa (1944); Horacio Eyzaguirre Rouse (1945); private collection, Chile (1952), in family possession since


cf. in general: John De Smet, Emile Claus 1849-1924, exhib. cat. Museum voor Moderne Kunst Ostende, Ostende 1997