Light Through the Trees (Lumière à Travers l'Arbre)
Raymond Thibesart (France, 1874-1968)
Pastel on paper, circa 1920s
12.5 x 9.5 (13/4 x 16 3/4 framed) inches
Raymond Thibesart was born into an affluent family on May 2nd, 1874. As a small child, Thibesart’s family moved to a suburb of Paris where the very young artist found a wealth of teachers and inspiration to pull from. Thibesart showed such proclivity for drawing at an early age, and had enough talent that famed impressionist Emile Boggio began giving him lessons when he was just 11 years old. Eventually, Thibesart began formal training at the Lycee Rollin in Paris, followed by studies at L’Ecole des Beaux-Arts and the Academie Julian.
While working in Symbolism, Thibesart became a student of the Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art movements of his native France and began winning numerous medals in France, including the gold medal from the Societe des Artistes Francais in 1897. Thibesart then began his studies with the famed Impressionist Henri Martin for much of his early life. From Martin, he learned the technique of “plein air" painting who was a master of the discipline. Proficiency of this technique and its aesthetic, freed up the young artist, allowing him the ability to create amazingly beautiful light and shadow splayed across his trademark subjects which frequently included the landscapes of Italy, Switzerland, and the rest of mainland Europe. Thibesart was especially enamored with the river Seine -- a subject that repeated itself again and again in his work. He was able to produce work into his old age, giving Thibesart a breadth and depth to his catalog that few other artists of his era can match.
This Post-Impressionist style would be the one he would become known for, achieving long-lasting fame that lasted long after the artist’s death in the 1960s.
Thibesart was extremely popular during his lifetime. He exhibited at almost every prestigious gallery in Paris and across Europe, including an extended exhibit at the Knoedler in Paris (1913 - 1927), the Georges Petit gallery in Paris 1930 and the Romanet Gallery in Algiers between 1942 and 1965. During his lifetime, his work also traveled to New York, Caracas, Holland and Japan which helped to cement his reputation as one of the most important Post-Impressionist painters of any era.
Thibesart had a warm and longstanding friendship with Claude Monet, and the two often shared methods and styles with each other whether through letters or in person. Eventually, their friendship led them to exchange paintings on each other’s birthdays. Thibesart’s pieces are often tranquil and beautiful, rich blues, translucent water, and the dazzling sparkle of the sun.