Oil on canvas.
Signed lower right.
63 x 52 cm
Bibliography: "Augustin Lesage", catalogue raisonné, Philippe Sers éditeur, described under number 86 reproduced on page 112.
Exhibition: Augustin Lesage-Elmar Trenkwalder "Les Inspirés" Antoine de Galbert Foundation (11 June to 7 September 2008) Maison Rouge.
This painting is one of the rare paintings of this period with Augustin LESAGE representing himself in the arms of the Virgin (detail opposite)
"I am only the hand that executes and not the spirit that conceives" liked to repeat Augustin Lesage.
Born in 1876 into a family of miners, he began by working in the mine himself. But in 1912, he heard voices urging him to start painting.
From then on, he never stopped painting and gave up his work as a miner in 1923. Thanks to the recognition and popularity of his work, he became a member of the French Artists' Association in 1924, and from 1929 onwards he exhibited regularly at the Salon des artistes français. Well-integrated in the spiritualist milieu, which had been very fashionable since the end of the 19th century, he explained (notably during interviews with a doctor in 1925) that he never knew in advance what he was going to paint and that he followed the instructions of the great old masters (Leonardo da Vinci, for example) or those of his deceased sister.
The surrealists, led by André Breton, find a strong interest in mediumistic rites that respond to their own experiences of psychic automatism. Attached to the spiritualist movement, Lesage is part of the Art Brut collection, of which he is one of the major figures.
The painter draws his references and motifs from a great cultural and religious amalgam of faces, animals, characters, motifs that he works with rigorous symmetry, painting line by line, from top to bottom with the meticulousness of a miniaturist but on formats that can reach 9 m2. The twenti