Collection Spotlight: Edmund Petitjean

By March 9, 2018News, Spotlight
Edmund Petitjean (French 1844-1925) Les Côte du Nords, Bretagne (The Shell Gatherers), n.d. Oil on Canvas Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art, Auburn University; Gift of Noel and Katheryn Dickinson Wadsworth

Advanced art history students in assistant professor Emily Burns’ classes will get a hands-on look at the world of art curation and have a unique experience for their portfolios using the collections of Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art, Auburn University. The students will research, curate and present on a two-part exhibition in the Chi Omega-Hargis Gallery during the spring 2018 semester.

Below is a Collection Spotlight from the first exhibition, “Strokes of Nature: Plein Air Painting in the 19th Century.”

Rather than rendering every specific detail on the beach at Côtes-d’Armor, formerly known as Côtes-du-Nord in northern Brittany, Edmund Petitjean gives the viewer a general sense of the surroundings: debris and plants, the movement of the receding waves, the shadows created by the larger rocks scattered over the shore. He illustrates the rocky coast with bright hues of green ranging from light olive to emerald to a deep almost-black green. He captures the ocean breeze using swirling and airy brushstrokes of aquamarine with additives of white to highlight the dynamic shapes of the clouds in front of him. Petitjean’s swift brushstrokes and dabs of color indicate the artist’s hastiness to capture a singular time of day. As a result of this plein-air grounding and Impressionist handling, a momentary quality entices the viewer to share his experience.

Edmund Petitjean (French 1844-1925) Les Côte du Nords, Bretagne (The Shell Gatherers), n.d. Oil on Canvas Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art, Auburn University; Gift of Noel and Katheryn Dickinson Wadsworth

Edmund Petitjean
(French 1844-1925)
Les Côte du Nords, Bretagne (The Shell Gatherers), n.d.
Oil on Canvas
Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art, Auburn University; Gift of Noel and Katheryn Dickinson Wadsworth
1980.1

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