An Orchard under the Church of Bihorel

Paul Gauguin

Un huerto bajo la iglesia de Bihorel

Gauguin, Paul

París, 1848 - Atuona, Islas Marquesas, 1903

An Orchard under the Church of Bihorel, 1884

© Colección Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza

Signed & dated lower left: : ''P. Gauguin 84''.
Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection on loan to the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, Madrid

Oil on canvas

65,5 x 46 cm

CTB.1992.6

Artwork history

  • Ambroise Volard, París

  • Private Collection, France

  • Sotheby’s Auctions, London, Lot 7, June 26,  1990.

  • Sotheby’s Auctions, London, Lot 10, June 30, 1992.

  • Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection.

1996

De Canaletto a Kandinsky. Obras maestras de la Colección Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, n. 70, p. 186

1996 - 1997

From Zurbaran to Picasso. Masterpieces from the Collection of Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza, Shanghai, Shanghai Museum; Pekín, China National Art Gallery, p. 110

1997

Capolavori dalla Collezione di Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza: 60º anniversario dell'apertura della Pinacotecca di Villa Favorita, Lugano, Villa Favorita, n. 95, p. 244

1997

Del vedutismo a las primeras vanguardias. Obras maestras de la Colección Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza, Bilbao, Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao, n. 27, p. 118

1998

Paul Gauguin, Martigny, Fondation Pierre Gianadda, n. 11, pp. 61, 215

1999

Do impresionismo ó fauvismo: A pintura do cambio de século en París. Colección Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza, Santiago de Compostela, Centro Galego de Arte Contemporánea, n. 6, p. 40.

1999 - 2000

Del impresionismo a la vanguardia en la Colección Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza, Barcelona, Centre Cultural Caixa Catalunya, p. 42.

2000

Del impresionismo a la vanguardia en la Colección Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza, México, DF, Museo del Palacio de Bellas Artes, p. 56

2001

Los XX. El nacimiento de la pintura moderna en Bélgica, Madrid, Fundación Cultural Mapfre Vida, p. 390

2004 - 2005

Gauguin y los orígenes del simbolismo, Madrid, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza - Sala de las Alhajas, n. 18, p. 128

2005 - 2006

Gauguin and Impressionism, Copenhague, Ordrupgaard; Fort Worth (TX), Kimbell Art Museum, n. 40, p. 218

2010

Une ville pour l'impressionnisme. Monet, Pissarro et Gauguin à Rouen, Ruán, Musée des Beaux-Arts, n. 34, p. 239, lám.

2010 - 2011

Jardines impresionistas, Madrid, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza - Fundación Caja Madrid, n. 61, p. 180, lám.

2012

Paraísos y paisajes en la Colección Carmen Thyssen. De Brueghel a Gauguin, Málaga, Museo Carmen Thyssen Málaga, n. 30, p. 128, lám. p. 129

2012 - 2013

Rusiñol, Monet, Gauguin, Sunyer. El paisaje en la Colección Carmen Thyssen, Gerona, CaixaForum; Tarragona, CaixaForum; Lérida, CaixaForum, n. 28, p. 106, lám. p. 107. (solo Tarragona)

2014

Cézanne site/non-site, Madrid, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, n. 25, p. 97, lám. p. 96

2014

L'ideal en el paisatge. De Meifrèn a Matisse i Gontxarova. Col·lecció Carmen Thyssen, Sant Feliu de Guíxols, fundació Privada Centre d'Art Col·lecció Catalana de Sant Feliu de Guíxols, p. 60, lám. p. 61

2017 - 2018

Scenarios. From Monet to Estes. From Trouville to Nueva York. Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection. Museu Carmen Thyssen Andorra, 16 March 2017-14 January 2018. p. 20-21.

2019 - 2020

L’impressionnisme d’après Pont-Aven. Musée de Pont-Aven. p. 15, Cat. 2. P. 34-35.

  • -De Canaletto a Kandinsky. Obras maestras de la colección Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza. [Exhib. Cat. Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza]. Llorens Serra, Tomàs (ed.). Madrid, Fundación Colección Thyssen-Bornemisza, 1996 , n. 70, p. 186 (listed as: “Los niños en el huerto”). [Sheet by Ronald Pickvance]

  • -Wildenstein, Daniel: Gauguin. Premier itinéraire d’un sauvage. Catalogue de l’oeuvre peint (1873-1888). Crussard, Sylvie y Heudron, Martine. Milán, Skira – París, Wildenstein Institute, 2001 , vol. 1, p. 132, p. 150, lám.

  • -Colección Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza. Arnaldo, Javier (ed.). 2 vols. Madrid, Fundación Colección Thyssen-Bornemisza, 2004, vol. 2, p. 78, lám. p. 79 [Sheet by Ronald Pickvance]

  • -Solana, Guillermo: ”El despertar del fauno. Gauguin y el retorno de lo pastoral”. Madrid 2004-2005. pp. 14-63, cit. pp. 27-28.

  • -Solana, Guillermo: Gauguin y los orígenes del simbolismo. [Exhib. Cat. 2004-2005]. Madrid, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza – Fundación Caja Madrid, 2004.

  • -Fonsmark, Anne-Birgitte: “Artiste-Peintre in Rouen”.  Copenhaguen/Fort Worth 2005-2006, pp. 196-209, cit. p. 201.

  • -Brettel, Richard R. y Fonsmark, Anne-Birgitte: Gauguin and Impressionism. [Exhib. Cat. Copenhaguen, Ordrupgaard – Fort Worth, Kimbell Art Museum, 2005-2006]. New Haven – London, Yale University Press – Forth Worth, Kimbell Art Museum, 2005, p. 218, lám. p. 219 [Sheet by Richard R. Brettell]

  • -Brettell, Richard: “Gauguin in Rouen”. Ruán 2010, pp. 76-94, n. 34, cit. pp. 82, 89.

  • -David, Jeanne-Marie: “1884 / Gauguin’s stay”.  Ruán 2010, pp. 231-239, n. 34, cit. p. 234, lám. p. 239.

  • -Salomé, Laurent (ed.): A City for Impressionnism. Monet, Pissarro, and Gauguin in Rouen. [Exhib. Cat.]. Ruán, Musée des Beaux-Arts, 2010.

  • -Jardines impresionistas, Madrid, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza – Fundación Caja Madrid, 2010, n. 61, p. 180, lám.[Exhib. Cat.].

  • -Paraísos y paisajes en la Colección Carmen Thyssen. De Brueghel a Gauguin, Málaga, Museo Carmen Thyssen Málaga, 2012, n. 30, p. 128, lám. p. 129.[Exhib. Cat.].

  • -Rusiñol, Monet, Gauguin, Sunyer. El paisaje en la Colección Carmen Thyssen, 2012, Gerona, CaixaForum; Tarragona, CaixaForum; Lérida, CaixaForum, n. 28, p. 106, lám. p. 107. ( Tarragona).[Exhib. Cat.].

  • -Cézanne site/non-site, Madrid, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, 2014, n. 25, p. 97, lám. p. 96.[Exhib. Cat.].

  • -L’ideal en el paisatge. De Meifrèn a Matisse i Gontxarova. Col·lecció Carmen Thyssen, Sant Feliu de Guíxols, fundació Privada Centre d’Art Col·lecció Catalana de Sant Feliu de Guíxols, 2014, p. 60, lám. p. 61.[Exhib. Cat.].

  • -Scenarios. From Monet to Estes. From Trouville to Nueva York. Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection. Museu Carmen Thyssen Andorra, 2017,  p. 20-21. (Exhib. Cat.)  [Sheet by Ronald Pickvance]

  • -L’impressionnisme d’après Pont-Aven. Musée de Pont-Aven.[Exhib. Cat. Musée de Pont-Aven]. Pont-Aven, Ed. Locussolus, 2019. p. 15, Cat. 2, p. 34-35.

Expert report

Gauguin moved to Rouen with his wife and four of his five children in January 1884. He had given up his job in the Paris stock-exchange, and made the momentous decision to become a full-time painter. During his relatively affluent time in Paris, he had acquired a magnificent collection of “modern” art, with works by Manet, Degas, Monet, Sisley, Renoir, and especially Cézanne, Guillaumin and Pissarro. And in return, he was invited to participate with the Impressionists at their exhibitions in 1879, 1880, 1881 and 1882. Pissarro was his mentor, the two often painted together, and when apart, they corresponded regularly. Our knowledge of Gauguin’s stay in Rouen, from January to November 1884, is largely based on his letters to Pissarro.

Because of destruction during World War II, the part of Rouen where Gauguin lived no longer exists. An Orchard under the Church of Bihorel is one of three canvases showing what must have been the orchard of the house he rented, with his children at play. Above them, on a steeply rising hill is the church of Notre-Dame-des-Anges.

It is not a large painting but then few of the thirty or so paintings Gauguin produced in Rouen are. Stylistically, it reflects Pissarro’s garden paintings of Pontoise that Gauguin knew intimately. But Gauguin also knew intimately the work of Cézanne: the off-centre tree, clearly the lynch-pin of the design as well as the echoes of Cézanne’s formalist, so-called constructive stroke attest to that. And, to be fair, one must add Guillaumin, with whom Gauguin was so friendly in the 1880s.

Ronald Pickvance