Léon Suzanne [1870-1923] : Rouen market, 1922.
Léon Suzanne [1870-1923]
French Impressionist painter
Rouen market, 1922
Oil on canvas
23 x 27 inches [unframed] | 32-1/2 x 36-1/2 inches [framed]
Signed and dated at lower left : ‘L. Suzanne – 22’.
2023 Rouen market
2022 Paris market
Minor restoration on painting. Period frame with minor restoration of missing composition ornament.
One of the last works by a master illustrator just before suffering an illness and dying a year later. This rich scene of Rouen, France market depicts their public market square. The grey and muted colors of early 1920s painting is combined with brushy, post Impressionist French painting.
A true gem by a skilled hand.
2022 ( David Smernoff, New Haven, CT & New York, NY ) ;
2022 Private collection of [withheld], CT ;
2022 ( [withheld] ) ;
ca.1980s-1990s Private collection of Dr Henry “Hank” Clayton Landon III (1924-2017) and Barbara Sisk Landon (1932-2022), Wilmington, NC ;
ca.1986-1990s ( David Dike Fine Art, Dallas, TX ) ;
after 1922 Private collection of [unknown] ;
1922 Léon Suzanne [1870-1923], the artist .
2022 [withheld] ;
– [withheld] ;
Léon Suzanne (July 13, 1870 – April 5, 1923) was a French painter and illustrator known for his landscapes, military sketches, and works depicting picturesque corners of Rouen. Suzanne’s artistic career was marked by periods of struggle and illness, but his talent and determination ultimately led to recognition and success.
Born in Bolbec, an important area of Pays de Caux, Léon Suzanne was the son of a well-established baker. Despite his father’s hopes that he would continue the family business, Suzanne displayed a talent for drawing from an early age. By the age of 11, he was illustrating historical subjects, including the history of France and the life of Napoleon.
Suzanne apprenticed as a baker after leaving school, but devoted his free time to drawing and painting. The young artist’s love for art eventually led to a rift within his family, and at the age of 15, he left home for Rouen. There, he worked as an assistant baker while continuing to pursue his passion for painting.
After completing his military service, Suzanne abandoned the bakery trade to dedicate his life to painting. At 25, he sent one of his works to a framer on rue Saint-Nicholas, where it caught the attention of landscape painter Delattre. The two artists soon formed a strong friendship, and when Delattre opened the Free Academy in Rouen, Suzanne became one of its most dedicated students.
In 1897, Suzanne married and struggled with the challenges of life as an artist. From 1900 to 1904, he lived in Paris and worked as an illustrator for various newspapers, including Le Pompon, Gil Blas, la Grande Caricature, and Regiment. His military sketches, in particular, showcased his exceptional talent and vivid imagination.
Suzanne returned to Rouen and attended L’École des Beaux-Arts, where he befriended P. Zacharie, a teacher of composition and drawing classes. Zacharie recognized Suzanne’s potential as a landscape artist and believed he would become a prominent figure among Normandy painters.
In December 1906, Suzanne participated in a group exhibition at Galerie Legrip, which served as a precursor to the foundation of the Society of Rouen Artists. Over the following years, he continued to exhibit his work and gained praise from critics for his impressionist style and delicate vision.
Following a period of financial struggle and illness, Suzanne moved to the village of Lery in the Eure region in 1907, where he lived until 1910. There, he befriended fellow painter M. Niquet and frequently went on drawing excursions with him and E. Tirvert.
In 1910, Suzanne returned to Rouen, where he continued to paint. However, his life was soon interrupted by World War I, during which he served in the territorial army. Throughout his service, he created poignant drawings of soldiers and landscapes that captured the harsh reality of war.
Suzanne resumed painting after his demobilization in 1919, despite the onset of the illness that would eventually claim his life. He exhibited at the Salon of Rouen Artists in 1920, earning favorable reviews from critics. During this time, he also formed a close friendship with distinguished collector M. Sanson, who provided him with support and encouragement.
Léon Suzanne passed away on April 5, 1923, at his home in Rouen. His perseverance and dedication to his art left a lasting impression on those who knew him and his work, and he is remembered as a talented and passionate painter of the Normandy region. Suzanne’s legacy as an impressionist and landscape artist lives on through his vivid and evocative paintings, which continue to inspire and captivate art enthusiasts. His works serve as a testament to his remarkable talent, unwavering determination, and enduring love for his craft.