JULES ANTOINE (1863-1948) attr.
Vincent Van Gogh in conversation with friends, Paris, 96 rue Blanche, December 1887
“Melanotype, direct positive and reversed image on blackboard (carton photographique), 86×112 mm, “Gautier Martin” stamp, recto.
Vincent Van Gogh in conversation with Paul Gauguin, Emile Bernard, Félix Jobbé-Duval. Andre Antoine is standing between them.
Paul Gauguin and Emile Bernard are dressed in a very similar way, wearing spectacular “Bragou Berr, specific traditional trousers from Pont-Aven region. And the older man bearing a Legion d’honneur is Felix Jobbe -Duval who praised Pont-Aven to his friends. The young man behind Émile Bernard with a dutch casquette could be identified with Arnold Koning.
The location, identified as the backyard of Auberge Blanche, 96 rue Blanche, was also the access to the “Salle de repetition du Theâtre-Libre”, an independant space near Place de Clichy which had been proposed by Andre Antoine as a free exhibition hall to young artists, through a call in a libertarian and socialist newspaper: Le Cri du Peuple, 7 September 1887.
96 rue Blanche is the place that hosted the famous but little documented exhibition which combined Seurat Signac and Van Gogh, provoking a dispute between him and Bernard.
The collodion bears the stamp of an exclusive distributor “Gautier-Martin” but no signature. We could locate only one more example of such a collodion on waterproof board. The inventor could be identified as a swiss-born traveller called Frédéric Merienne who copyrighted his invention in 1861 and signed an exclusive distribution agreement with Gauthier-Martin. Jules Antoine, André’s younger brother, was an amateur photographer who practiced collodion on tintype. He was also Theo Van Gogh’s friend, and a supportive critic of the Neo-Impressionism movement, writing more than 50 articles in “Art et critique”.
This collodion not only shows us for the first time the face of Vincent Van Gogh as an adult, it also captures the moment of 1887, in which a group of artists revolutionised the arts.
Provenance: Ronald Davis, supplier of Myriam de Rothschild”. (from the Catalogue).
This photograph will be for bidding at the auction house Romantic Agony, in Bruxelles, on June 19th 2015 at 2.00 pm. Estimate €130.000/150.000