The main Road in Saint-Privé
  • Henri-Joseph Harpignies
  • Valenciennes 1819 - 1916 Saint-Privé
  • The main Road in Saint-Privé, 1886
  • Watercolour over pencil, on strong paper
  • signed and dated with pen and brown ink on the lower left: h ’harpignies. 1886,
    inscribed on the lower right: St. Privé
  • 276 × 398 mm
Obach & Co., London)
(A present for his wife from Charles Obach on her birthday, 10th Sept. 1910))
Estate of the family

A small group of women and children, belatedly inserted into the image, usher the beholder of this image into a village street in Saint-Privé, a small place in northeastern France where the artist had owned a house since 1878. In contrast to the previous sheet, however, a summery lightness prevails here. One really feels the landscape’s atmosphere. Several farmsteads, just like the nearly cloudless, bright blue sky, seem less prominent.

Especially in 1886, Harpignies repeatedly transposed motives from Saint-Privé into pictorial form, both in watercolour and in oil. Among these, we find views into the artist’s own garden, village scenes, and landscapes of the local environment.