Francis Picabia

As a young artist, Francis Picabia painted in the Impressionist style, influenced by the artwork of Alfred Sisley, Claude Monet, and Paul Signac. However, in 1908, Picabia moved towards Pointilism, then Fauvism and Cubism, and later Machinism and Dada.

This particular picture occupies a compelling place in Picabia’s oeuvre, as it was painted just a few years before he came under the influence of Cubism, and would become one of the leading avant-garde artists of his day. The provincial town of Moret along the Loing river was a favorite site for painters like Monet and Sisley. Following this tradition, the young Picabia frequently depicted the present scene in several drawings and paintings from 1903 to 1906.

The thickly applied paint, especially in the greenery, shows an indebtedness to the impasto technique of the Impressionists and Post-Impressionists… however the small, deliberate brushstrokes here, especially in the tree at left, reveal the influence of Seurat’s Pointilist technique and indicate that Picabia was moving away from Impressionism.

The painting was originally given to Olga Picabia, wife of the artist, and primary member of the Picabia Foundation prior to her death. Le Loing a Moret is included in the catalogue raisonné published this year by the Picabia Foundation.