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Beauty, Rarity, History...The M.S. Rau Antiques Blog

Bill Rau

M.S. Rau Antiques

Led by third-generation owner and published fine art expert Bill Rau, M.S. Rau Antiques has grown by leaps and bounds since his grandfather Max Rau opened the doors in 1912 to a then-small antiques store in the heart of New Orleans' historic French Quarter. Bill's extensive knowledge and reputation as a leader places him among the most respected antique experts and gallery owners today.

A New Orleans institution for over 100 years, M.S. Rau Antiques is among the premier antiques galleries in the world. Located in the heart of the French Quarter, our 25,000 square foot gallery overflows with incredible antiques by names including Tiffany & Co., Paul Revere and Fabergé. Our unparalleled selection of important, original paintings and sculpture spans the 16th through the 21st century, created by legendary artists such as Brueghel, Monet and Rockwell, and our diverse selection of exquisite jewels, including rare colored diamonds, Kashmir sapphires and Burma rubies is without equal.

Artistic Insight: La Chaumière sous les Arbres by Vincent van Gogh

  • This extraordinary oil on canvas by the master Vincent van Gogh was composed during a pivotal moment in the artist's career.  It showcases his early use of light and bright color in his work.

    This extraordinary oil on canvas by the master Vincent van Gogh was composed during a pivotal moment in the artist's career. It showcases his early use of light and bright color in his work.

    M.S. Rau Antiques, New Orleans

  • Definite parallels can be drawn between this and his earliest known work, De Aardappeleters (The Potato Eaters) in the use of earthy tones and Realist subject matter.  Both of these works were completed in the same year, 1885.

    Definite parallels can be drawn between this and his earliest known work, De Aardappeleters (The Potato Eaters) in the use of earthy tones and Realist subject matter. Both of these works were completed in the same year, 1885.

    M.S. Rau Antiques, New Orleans

The paintings of Vincent van Gogh rank amongst the most iconic in the world. Simply the mention of his name evokes thoughts of celebrated masterpieces created by one of history’s most important artists – masterpieces that, for the most part, are found only in the most prestigious museum collections.

 

Along with his captivating, distinctive aesthetic style, much of the appeal of his legendary paintings comes from the insight they give into the uncompromising, often troubled genius that is van Gogh. Once part of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s collection, La Chaumière sous les Arbres (The Cottage under the Trees), is not only visually compelling and marvelously composed, but it marks an important creative shift in his early output. His earliest recognized masterpiece, De Aardappeleters (The Potato Eaters), dates to 1885, the very same year as this immensely important oil on canvas.

 

La Chaumière sous les Arbres was created at a turning point in van Gogh’s career. He had spent the past two years in the southern Netherlands, and had little success with his art. His brother Théo was managing Goupil’s gallery and suggested adding brighter colors to his works, rather than the muted, earthy tones that permeated van Gogh’s palette. It was that suggestion that led to this highly emotive composition. With the artist’s hallmark intense brushwork, the peasant blends effortlessly into the landscape, contrasted by the bright sky and vivid wildflowers that act as jeweled beacons upon the canvas. 

 

A Post-Impressionist tour-de-force, La Chaumière sous les Arbres provides a rare glimpse into the beginning of arguably the most immensely impactful and tragically short artistic career in modern history.

 

To learn more about this important van Gogh, including its complete provenance and exhibition history, click here.

 

About M.S. Rau Antiques:
M.S. Rau Antiques has spent over 100 years earning the trust of discerning collectors world-wide. Located in the heart of New Orleans’ historic French Quarter, our peerless showroom houses one of the world’s most extensive and stunning collections of important fine art by artists such as Monet and van Gogh, rare 18th-and 19th-century antiques and breathtaking jewelry, including rare colored diamonds.

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