[From the catalogue-in-progress for “Landscapes & Livestock”, a loan exhibition for Agincourt Homecoming in the Fall of 2015]
SPAT, Gabriel [1890-1967]
“Notre Dame, after Rain”
oil on board / 7 inches by 9 inches
Spat’s pre-WWII paintings record the upscale streets, squares and parks of Paris in its most glorious years. Here Notre Dame’s liturgical west front is silhouetted against the morning sky, as pedestrians and cars glide across pavement still wet from recent rain—all in seven by nine inches. A catalogue for one of his post-war exhibitions includes a story about Spat’s use of scrap canvas from other more financially successful artists, some of whom had studio space at La Ruche, an artistic enclave in the 15th arrondissement of Paris, a district which includes the bohemian community of Montparnasse.
This and another Spat work—“Portrait une famille”—came to the collection through the Kurt Bernhard’s former in-laws the Sobieskis, who may have known Spat during his Paris years.