Fritz Thaulow (1847 -1906)
Small Town Square
Oil on canvas
H. 73 cm ; W. 92 cm
Rodin probably met Fritz Thaulow in 1892, when the Norwegian painter settled in France with his family. As a token of their friendship, Rodin gave Thaulow several works, including a Head of Saint John the Baptist.Moved by this gesture, the painter, in turn, gave Rodin two canvases: Small Town Square (possibly Place du Moulin à vent, Dieppe) and Factories in the Snow.
Born into a wealthy family, Thaulow could afford to travel all over Europe. He took advantage of the journeys he made to paint in the open air and increase the number of his subjects. Small Town Square attests to his constant search for new motifs. In it, the painter captures a moment in the life of a small French town and depicts two figures seen from behind, under the moonlight.
The scene is both fleeting and anonymous. Here, Thaulow shows that he has adopted Impressionist theories, making light and its fleeting variations his principal concern.