Huile sur papier
Signée et datée en bas à gauche
Oil on paper; signed and dated lower left
27,7 X 20,5 CM • 10 7/8 x 8 1/8 IN.

  • Monsieur Frédéric Chappey a confirmé l'authenticité de cette oeuvre.

    Collection particulière, France.

    Poète, essayiste et nouvelliste, Hubert Montague Crackanthorpe est né en 1870 dans le Londres de l’ère victorienne. Fils de Montague Hughes Cookson, descendant de la prestigieuse famille des Montague et de Blanche Crackanthorpe (née Holt), un auteur renommé, Hubert Crackanthorpe ne pouvait échapper à une carrière littéraire. Il a également un lien de parenté avec William Wordsworth (1770-1850), poète romantique anglais et fondateur de la Literary Society.

    Hubert Crackanthorpe voyage pour la première fois en France en 1889 où il séjourne dans la petite ville béarnaise de Orthez, suite à des liens distendus avec sa femme Leila Macdonald. C’est là qu’il fait la connaissance de Francis Jammes qui lui présente Charles Lacoste, ainsi naîtra une véritable amitié. Membre de cercles littéraires, il rencontre également d’autres auteurs tels que Stéphane Mallarmé, les frères Goncourt, Maurice Maeterlinck, ou encore André Gide.
    La communion esthétique entre Crackanthorpe, Mallarmé et Jammes se conclut notamment par la publication des premiers recueils de poésie de Francis Jammes, qu’il dédicace à Crackanthorpe.
    Charles Lacoste rend plusieurs fois visite à Hubert Crackanthorpe à Londres entre 1894 et 1896. C’est probablement lors d’un de ses séjours chez Crackanthorpe à Londres que Charles Lacoste a peint le portrait de son hôte que nous présentons. Charles Lacoste a su capter, avec beaucoup d’élégance, dans son portrait tout le tourment et la complexité psychologique de Crackanthorpe. En effet ce dernier devait être retrouvé noyé dans la Seine, sans véritablement savoir s’il s’agissait d’un accident ou d’un suicide.

    Poet, essay and short story writer, Hubert Montague Crackanthorpe was born on 12 May 1870 to Montague Hughes Cookson, descendant of the Montague dynasty and to Blanche Crackanthorpe, a significant writer of the late 19th century. He is a first cousin of William Wordsworth (1770-1850). He studies at Eton for a while, then had tutors like Selwin Image, a disciple of John Ruskine.Crackanthorpe first went to France between 1889 and 1892 where he met Fin de Siècle artists such as Stéphane Mallarmé, the Goncourt brothers, Maurice Maeterlinck, André Gide, among others. During his first journey to France Hubert Crackanthorpe first went to Orthez, a calvinist stronghold of Jeanne d’Albret, King Henri IV of France’s mother. In this town of Béarn, in the southwest of France, he met for the first time the French poet Francis Jammes, a close friend of Mallarmé, Gide, Paul Claudel...
    Hubert Crackanthorpe married Leila Macdonald, a wealthy heiress, in 1893. Then he left for France where he dated Francis Jammes again. The young English couple decided to settle in the countryside close to Orthez. But later on , as the marriage turned into a disaster, the young English poet wrote rural and short stories, focusing on misguided hopes and unrequited loves. Jammes introduced Charles Lacoste to Hubert Crackanthorpe for Jammes and Lacoste were longtime high school friends. Thus arose a true friendship between Lacoste and Crackanthorpe.
    From 1893 onward, Francis Jammes establishes a letter correspondence with Stéphane Mallarmé. As the latter proved to be a very good support, Crackanthorpe encouraged Jammes to publish his poetry. Jammes’ first work published in Le Mercure de France was dedicated to Hubert Crackanthorpe and Charles Lacoste and bore an epigraph by Keats "Beauty is truth, truth beauty".
    From 1894 to 1896 Hubert Crackanthorpe hosted Charles Lacoste in his house, London, where the latter painted many views of this city and probably his portrait.
    The portrait by Charles Lacoste, that we present, emphasizes pain and torment, in a very subtle and elegant manner, of the young poet who would commit suicide a few months after the painting was finished. Indeed Crackanthorpe died on November 1896 in strange circonstances, he would have drowned himself in the River Seine.
    Charles Lacoste met from high school the future poet Francis Jammes.
    His training is that of an autodidact. From 1894 to 1897 he made several important encounters : André Gide, Arthur Fontaine, the Rouart family (Berthe Morisot and Édouard Manet relatives).
    Lacoste exhibited at Le Salon des Cent. He moved to Paris and from 1901 to 1914 he exhibited at the Salon des Independents. He was a founding member of Le Salon d'Automne, he also exhibited at Le Salon de la Libre Esthétique in Brussels in 1907 and Salon de la Toison d'Or in Moscow in 1908. His style is very close to the Symbolists’, the Nabis’s and is very influenced by Japanese woodcuts.
    Thanks to Hubert Crackanthorpe, Lacoste would have made several stays in the British Capital, allowing him to produce famous views of hazy, melancholic, synthetic cityscapes of London.

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