Small format oil on canvas painting, representing an interior scene in a kitchen. In the foreground, a woman in a dressing gown and nightgown is seated in front of the stove, seemingly in conversation. Standing next to her, a young person gazes at the kettle, perhaps warming themself in the heat emanating from the stove. A cat on the seated woman’s lap completes this intimate scene.
Jean Le Guennec was a French painter of landscapes, animals, still lifes, lithographer and illustrator. He was born on September 21, 1924 in Paris. His vocation having been thwarted, he obtained his diploma in agricultural engineering, then entered the Académie de la Grande Chaumière and the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, where he learned painting, engraving and sculpture. He had stays in Sologne, especially in Grande-Breuille and Montbouy, in Normandy, especially in Honfleur and Trouville, in Brittany.
He produced many drawings in his early career, before devoting progressively more attention to painting. He illustrated several books, including Viper in the Fist (Vipère au poing) by Hervé Bazin, Les Tiroirs de l’inconnu by Marcel Aymé, The Great Roads (Les grands chemins) by Jean Giono, and the poem in prose A Season in Hell (Une saison en enfer) by Arthur Rimbaud, illustrated with original lithographs. He also produced portrait lithographs. His early painted artwork had a darker quality to it, using an often-generous palette and dealing with melancholic subjects. Over time, his palette lightened, as did his subject matter.
He exhibited in Paris at the Salons de Mai and d'Automne and, in 1960, the Cardo Matignon gallery in Paris had a solo exhibition of his works.
Jean Le Guennec died by suicide in the forest between Combourg and Saint-Malo on April 24, 1988.
Sources: Benezit, Dictionary of Artists; Archives de France.
Artist: Jean Le Guennec (1924-1988).
Signed in lower left corner.
Medium: Oil on canvas.
Condition: Very good condition.
Dimensions: 35 x 24 cm. / 13 ¾ x 9 ½ in.
Frame: 47 x 36 cm. / 18 ½ x 14 ¼ in. Gilt wood, very good condition.