A Pack of Gascon Saintongeois Dogs (a breed of scenthound hunting dog from Gascony)
Gabriel Süe (Marseille 1867-1958)
Oil on paper
Signed lower left: "Gabriel Süe 1917"
12 /1/2 x 9 1/2 (16 3/4 x 14 3/4 frame) inches
Gabriel Süe trained from 1891 to 1892 in Bordeaux, at the school of Charles Braquehaye, a great admirer of Japanese art. Recommended to Jean-Léon Gérôme, he went to Paris to study painting and later he continued his training at the Académie Julian in the studio of Jean-Paul Laurens from 1893 to 1894.
At the Academie Julian, Süe met Cézanne, with whom he became friends. He also met Théophile Steinlen who, upon seeing his cat drawings, advised him to move towards animal painting.
Gabriel Süe was a solitary painter traveling to Italy, Spain, Algeria and Tunisia where he painted wildlife in the middle of nature.
Art critics to note that “Süe must be considered one of the most original animal painters of his time… Gabriel Süe's animals, herds of hounds, plowing oxen, dogs in the sun; … All this is to be seen and I do not know of a better contemplation to conquer a layman capable of still being terrified of the boldness of a school thus liberated."
And from the Salon des Indépendants of 1922; "Süe is an animal artist who, linking Nature and beast, tree and sky, sea and its shores, peasants and soil, paints large sketches whose primary concern is the search for unity. Certainly, here is a concern for universality which crowns an artist and can lead him very far, very high."
These few articles highlight the powerful and picturesque, sometimes rough character of Gabriel Süe's works, his expression of an unlimited love for nature, light, color and movement. With vigor and harmony, his touch was free and wild, applying bright colors, a bit like Gaugin’s; flat with lots of complements and contrasts.
Though Süe was classified as an animal painter, he was also an experienced landscape painter, having painted in the fields and forests of the Dordogne in which he found "the southern luminosity of his childhood."
Out of a desire for artistic independence, he never associated with a gallery. Commercial recognition and promotion of his art seemed to have been the least of his worries. Süe exhibited in Paris at the Salons of the National Beaux-Arts Society, Independents Salons, Autumn Salons, French Animal Painters and the Canine Society.
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