Jenny Montigny


Playground in Deurle in spring

Oil on canvas
110 x 150 cm
Framed: 127,5 x 167,5 cm
Signed lower right: J. Montigny

Signed lower right: J. Montigny

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- Deprez, T. e.a., Impressionism in Flanders (Gent: Francis Maere Gallery, 2015), p. 66-67 (ill.).
- De Smet, J., Sint-Martens-Latem en de kunst van 1870-1970 (Tielt: Lannoo, 2000).
- Lemal-Mengeot, C. e.a., Jenny Montigny 1875-1937. Lumières impressionistes, (Charleroi: Musée des Beaux-Arts, 1997).
- Pauwels, P.J.H., Comme un miroir étincelant (Sint-Martens-Latem: Galerie Oscar De Vos, 2019), p. 137 (ill.).
- Van der Stighelen, K. & M. Westen, Elck zijn waerom. Vrouwelijke kunstenaars in België en Nederland 1500-1950, (Antwerpen: KMSKA, 1999), pp. 305-307.
- Van Doorne, V., Retrospectieve tentoonstelling Anna De Weert, Jenny Montigny, Yvonne Serruys, (Deinze: MuDeL, 1988).
- Van Langenhove, J.P., Huldetentoonstelling Jenny Montigny 1875-1937, (Deurle: Museum Leon De Smet, 1987).
- 1922, Ghent, Salon Triennal du Cercle Artistique & Littéraire.
Jenny Montigny was a pupil and ever devoted follower of Emile Claus; Claus the luminist rather than the academic painter. Montigny painted portraits, landscapes and still-lifes, but above all, she painted children. She found their youthful enthusiasm and absorption irresistible, and aesthetically, realised the great potential of the shapes and groups they formed, whether at play or rest. In the words of Paul Colin: '... Elle s'attache volontiers â des sujets mouvementes, qui lui permettent de composer, avec un sens réal de l'arabesque, des rondes et desjeux d'enfants.' (La Peintre Belge Depuis 1830, 1930, pp. 349-350). She painted in softer tones than her master, using mellow shades of blue and green and more grey and brown in her palette. (Sarah Polden)

Both in subject matter and colouring, 'Playground in Deurle in spring' represents Jenny Montigny at her best.There is the sympathetic eye for childhood affection; the artist always depicted the young in a generous light, gathering in fond, peaceful groups. The figures of the children follow and recede along the curving ledge. The colouring of the work is most typical of the artist, restful and limited in range. The repetition of orange and pink tinted brown makes the curving shape all the more compact and rhythmic. The brighter green that punctuates the work and the halos of light surrounding the figures suggest the particular, brief brightness of afternoon sun. The whole, colouring, subject matter and receding form, show the luminist artist at her most inspired. More than this, the warmth of the work and the brushwork, broad sweeps and hatching, recall the other medium favoured by Montigny, pastel.

Her permanent home had become Deurle, on the banks of the Lys. This verdant region and its light, as diffused through the sky and reflected from the river, had appealed more than any other to
the much-travelled Claus. Jenny Montigny travelled as Emile Claus suggested; their close association is further indicated by their complementary portraits, his of her (1902) in the Musée Royal des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, and the master by his pupil in the Musée des Beaux-Arts of Ghent. Yet Montigny, who became an active member of the group Vie et Lumière, was no unimaginative worshipper and imitator. Claus pointed the way, but it was her innate talent and personal response that created such pleasing images as 'Playground in Deurle in spring'.
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Playground in Deurle in spring