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Fernand Toussaint Figurative Painting - "THE FOUR SISTERS"
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Fernand Toussaint
"THE FOUR SISTERS"

1910

About

Home to the wealthy and cultivated Belgian upper class of The Belle Epoque, Fernand Toussaint is universally renowned for his depictions of turn of the century aristocratic ladies. Born in 1873 in Brussels, Toussaint grew up to be a critically acclaimed post-impressionist painter. His wealthy family having recognized his talent at young age, he studied with the likes of Constant Permeke and Adrien-Jean Le Mayeur by his twenties. His works were featured in the exhibitions of 'Le Sillon' and 'La Libre Esthétique', and in 1929 Toussaint was awarded a gold medal for his portrait of a lady at the Paris Salon. Toussaint conveys the refined female elegance of his epoque with every stroke of the brush, showing a long-lost era where femininity was associated with virtuousness and modesty, where sensuality and seduction were hinted at instead of on display. For instance, he had a carefully selected and luxurious wardrobe for his sitters, helping him suggest the sitters’ delicacy and graceful charm in his paintings. Although Toussaint is most well-known for his female portraits, he successfully painted nudes, genre scenes, landscapes, still lifes and posters as well. The Four Sisters vibrantly depicts four sisters casually sitting at the dining table, seemingly finishing an informal meal. The vibrant use of colors and the great level of detail, from the whimsical bouquet of wild flowers to the unfinished plates, make for an utterly charming, light-hearted and extraordinarily lifelike scene. The viewer’s attention, however, is drawn almost immediately to the center figure of the picture, looking straight at the beholder. She seems the most earnest and perhaps oldest of the four sisters, as she stands in sharp contrast to the (younger?) sister on the left, who is looking away coyly yet reveals a certain playfulness through the ribbon in her loosely tied hair and her patterned frock. With their blushing skin and bright white dresses, all four of them nonetheless convey a message of vivid femininity and modest elegance, which was, as always in Toussaint’s paintings, completely in accord with the ideals of the day.

Details

  • Artist
    Fernand Toussaint
  • Creation Year
    1910
  • Period
  • Dimensions
    H 36 in. x W 45 in.H 91.44 cm x W 114.3 cm
  • Gallery Location
    Ghent, BE
  • Reference Number
    LU131625642092
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About the Seller

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1stdibs seller since 2019
Typical response time: 10 hours
Located in Ghent, BE
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