This composition is today considered to be one of the major works that in 1887 led Édouard Dujardin to hail Anquetin (Étrépagny, January 26, 1861 - Paris, Augsut 19, 1932) as the chief proponent of Cloissonism. This work indeed illustrates the principle elements of this new artistic movement that affirmed the supremacy of drawing and borrowed its style from not only medieval stained glass windows and enamels, but also Japanese prints. The parallel between this blue-toned pastel and the art of stained glass was indirectly confirmed by Émile Bernard, who recalled that Anquetin’s monochromatic compositions were inspired by the latter’s habit of looking at landscapes through panes of coloured glass. The exceptionally elegant and shadowy black outlines as well as the flat treatment of the surface are further testament to this particular way of seeing.
[Sotheby’s, New York - Pastel on board, 60.3 x 50.3 cm]
But that does not mean that we need stand before the problem of life at our wits’ end, because we have to renounce all hope of seeing the course of world events as having any meaning. Reverence for Life leads us into a spiritual relationship with the world independent of a full understanding of the universe. Through the dark valley of resignation it takes us by an inward necessity up to the shining heights of ethical acceptance of the world.