Schuffenecker, Emile

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Emile Schuffenecker (1851-1934)



Was Claude-Émile Schuffenecker an Impressionist?

If Schuffenecker is mentioned in books on Impressionism at all, he mostly is only mentioned as a side-figure, as partaker of the last exposition in 1886 and as friend of Gauguin. Joining only the last ‘impressionist’ exposition in 1886 seems to confirm him as a side-figure of the impressionist art-movement. Getting involved in the Pont-Aven group, the Nabis, Symbolism and similar minded painters as Gauguin, Bernard and Redon seems to make him more a post-Impressionist, than an Impressionist. Much is written about his relationship with Gauguin, but what is known about his relationship with Pissarro, Cézanne and Guillaumin? Was Schuffenecker part of the School of Pontoise and in that sense more part of the impressionist art-movement than acknowledged ?
When I look at his painting style he seems to be most influenced by Guillaumin using bright colours and vibrant brushstrokes. Striking is his use of pinks, lilacs and minty greens. Schuffenecker would continue these bright colours and this vibrant brush stroke all through his life, even in his more symbolist paintings, though the emphasize on (arabesque) lines is also obvious. I totally not agree the statement that his work lacks personality.
I have to study more, but I assume that Schuffenecker his painting style has many elements of an impressionist painting style. Until 1885/6 his style was more realistic, as exhibited at the Salon and at the first Salon des Indépendants. Was this the reason why Pissarro had doubts of accepting him at the 8th ‘impressionist’ exposition?


Schuffenecker, his early years:

Schuffenecker was a pupil of Alexandre Athanese Grellet (around 1869), Paul Baudry (starting in 1866) and Emile Auguste Carolus Duran (from 1872-81) (iR3;iR24;iR1;R54,p35;R3). He frequented l’Académie Suisse (1872) and L’Académie Calorossi (1873) (R54,p35). He did so in the evenings, next to his job at Bertin (R9;iR70). He also studied the old masters in the Louvre (iR3).


Claude-Émile Schuffenecker at the Salon:

Schuffenecker exhibits at the Salon in 1877 / 78 / 79 / 80 / 81. He is called a pupil of F. Grellet in the catalogue of the Salon of 1877-79, a pupil of Paul Baudry (1880 + 81) and of Carolus Duran (1881) (iR1). Some sources wrongly mentions he debuted at the Salon in 1874 (iR70) or 1880 (R3). He was rejected at the Salon of 1883 (R3;R9;iR3) and in 1882 (iR3).


Schuffenecker only joined the 8th ‘impressionist’ exposition:

At the 8th ‘impressionist’ exposition in 1886 Schuffenecker showed 9 works (catalogue numbers 166-174; R2,p446). Two of them were studies, 2 figure paintings, 2 still lives. In the preparations there were doubts if Schuffenecker should be admitted, especially Pissarro was opposed (R5,p151;R9;R1,p522). Some sources mention Gauguin agreed Pissarro’s vision (R9), but Rewald mentions it was Gauguin who introduced Schuffenecker (R1,p522). It was Morisot who agreed to admit Schuffenecker (R1,p522).
See link for his -/-pictures. See link for an account.


Schuffenecker at the Salon des Indépendants:

1884/06/11 Schuffenecker was one of the founders of ‘La Société des Artistes Indépendants’. Later that year (1884/12/02) they would organize their first Salon des Indépendants (R54,p36;R5,p140;R9;R56;iR70;R1,p510). Schuffenecker would exhibit there many times, even in the year of his death 1934 (R54,p37). In 1926 there was a retrospective exhibition of his works (R54,p36).


Schuffenecker and Gauguin:

Schuffenecker met Gauguin in 1872 at Bertin, a stock exchange agency in Paris where they both worked (iR3;R54,p35;R3;R9;iR70;R1,p409). They became close friends. Schuffenecker persuaded Gauguin to come and paint on Sundays (R6,p196). From 1873-78 they frequented the same studios (R54,p35), such as Académie Colarossi in 1874 (iR70;iR3) and studied the old masters at the Louvre (iR3). 1873/11/22 Schuffenecker was witness to Gauguin’s marriage; later on he became godfather to his son Emile (iR3;R36,p13). In 1884 Gauguin became the godfather of Schuffenecker’s son Paul (iR3).
Schuffenecker introduced Gauguin to Guillaumin and Pissarro (R9;R3;R54,p35;R55). Yet Rewald mentions that Gauguin was introduced to Pissarro by Arosa (R1,p409). Schuffenecker (and Gauguin) stopped at Bertin in 1882, due to the stock market crash (iR70) or already in 1880 (iR3). Other sources mention Gauguin stopped in Januar 1883 (R36,p14). Gauguin moved in 1884 to Denmark, Copenhagen (R36,p14); he would correspond with Schuffenecker (R1,p496), as he would do later on (R1,p550). Schuffenecker (and Guillaumin) invited Gauguin to exhibit at the Salon des Indépendants, but he probably he rejected because the standard was not high enough for him (R1,p514).
Gauguin more than once lodges at Schuffenecker his house; since he returned from Denmark in June 1885, after his stays in Martinique (1887) and Arles (1888) (R54,p36;R5,p157+165;iR3;R36,p14+81). Schuffenecker also would support him financially until 1891 (R3); he tried to do so also by suggesting to by a work of Cézanne that Gauguin owned (R6,p202).  In 1889 their friendship degraded and broke-up in 1891 (R54,p36;R9). There were rumours that his wife had betrayed him (iR3) (by an affair with Gauguin?). Still in 1889 Gauguin and Bernard work in his studio, in 1890 Gauguin lodges with him and in 1893 Schuffenecker takes care of the affairs of Gauguin (R54,p36). Gauguin depreciated and mocked Schuffenecker his art-work (R3;R9).


Schuffenecker as a Neo-Impressionist painter:

In 1885 Schuffenecker was part of the ‘Mouvement Néo-Impressionniste’ (R54,p36). He was influenced by Seurat (R54,p36). He painted in large rectangular touches (R9). Several authors indicate that his involvement with neo-Impressionism lasted from 1884-88 (R56). Schuffenecker would introduce Bernard to the neo-impressionist style (R55). Their friendship would last all his life (R55).
When we look at his paintings, it seems that Schuffenecker never painted in a strict pointillist style using small dots pointing in no direction. Schuffenecker used larger dots or little strokes varying in size and direction. This makes his paintings very lively and bright. In this sense he doesn’t seem to be influenced by the strict pointillism of Seurat. For me it is not clear yet if his style is to be divined as divisionism or impressionism.


Schuffenecker as part of the Pont-Aven group:

In 1886 in Pont-Aven Schuffenecker introduced Gauguin and Bernard to each other (R16;R54,p36;iR70;R1,p537).  The style this group develops is called cloisonnism and synthetism. His home in Paris becomes a meeting place for these painters (R3). In 1889 Gauguin and Bernard work in his studio (R54,p36). Schuffenecker his style develops in a more free style with ample highlighted arabesques surrounding the colours (R9). When I look at his paintings I can only find a few paintings in a clear cloisonnistic style (R54,p181). Wardwell Lee confirms he didn’t adopt this style, but continued painting naturalistic landscapes, with an impressionist orientation (R56). Schuffenecker also becomes befriended with Sérusier, Denis and Laval (R56).
1889/06/08 was the start of ‘L’exposition d’oeuvres du groupe impressionnistes et synthétiques’ in café Volpini, organised by Gauguin and Schuffenecker and partly as an alternative for the ‘Exposition Universel’, where their works were refused (R9;iR70;R5,p169;R3;R54,p36;R56). Bernard made a caricature of himself, Gauguin and Schuffenecker (R5,p170). Schuffenecker exhibited 15 works (R9;iR24). Most exhibitors belonged to the Pont-Aven group (iR69). Schuffenecker also invited Eléanor (Louis) Roy (iR69). The term Synthetism was coined at this exhibition. Synthetism ‘should be a synthesis of three features: the outward appearance of natural forms, the artist’s feelings about his subject, and purely aesthetic considerations of line, colour, and form’ (iR70). They excluded Neo-Impressionists like Seurat, Signac, Cross and Pissarro (iR70;R56). Schuffenecker helped organizing these exhibitions for 3 years (R56).


Schuffenecker, a Symbolist painter:

1889 onwards Schuffenecker starts to paint in a Symbolist style. In the same year he meets Redon, with whom he paints together many times until Redon’s death in 1916 (R54,p36). 1892 onwards Schuffenecker is influenced by the Nabis (Ranson, Denis, Maillol, Sérusier) (R54,p36). He paints mysterious, elusive landscapes; many in the surroundings of Étretat and many in pastel (R9;R55).


Schuffenecker as an artist:

Schuffenecker was a pupil of F. Grellet, Paul Baudry (1866-70) and Carolus Duran (iR1;R56). Schuffenecker was befriended with Gauguin, Pissarro, Cézanne and Guillaumin (R54,p35;R3). And later on with Bernard in Concarneau (1886), Redon and Louis (Eléonor) Roy (R54,p35-7; R3;iR70;iR3;iR69;R6,p205;R17,p301). By his friends he was called ‘Schuff’ (R16).
Some state that his work shows little personality (R1,p522).
Schuffenecker was one of the first collectors of works by Vincent van Gogh (iR3;iR41). He also owned works of Cézanne, Daubigny, Gauguin, Redon (iR3). Schuffenecker has been suspected of imitating and ‘finishing’ works of contemporary artists, including works of Cézanne, Daubigny and Van Gogh (iR3;iR41).



A short biography of Claude-Émile Schuffenecker:

  • 1851/12/08: Claude-Émile Schuffenecker was born in Fresne Saint-Mamès (Haute-Saône) (R54,p35;iR24;iR1;R3;R9;iR3)
  • 1852: his parents moved to Paris (R54,p35)
  • 1854: his father died (iR4)
  • 1854: birth of his brother Amédée (iR3)
  • his mother, Anne Monnet (1836-1907) moved to Meudon (iR3)
  • 1854: the children were raised by her sister Anne Fauconnet Monnet and her husband Pierre Cornu in Paris (iR3;R54,p35)
  • 1868: received the first prize in drawing from the city of Paris (R54,p35)
  • 1872/02/28: Schuffenecker started working at Bertin, a stock exchange agency  (iR3;R54,p35). According to other sources in 1871 (R3;iR70), but probably this was the year that Gauguin started there (1871/04/25) (R36,p13;R6,p196).
  • 1877-78: Schuffenecker lived at 13, Rue Vavin, Paris (iR1)
  • 1879: Schuffenecker lived at 36, Rue Vavin, Paris (iR1)
  • 1880: Claude-Émile Schuffenecker married Louise Lançon, a cousin of his (R54,p35;iR3).
  • 1880-81: Schuffenecker lived at 55, Boulevard Edgar-Quinet, Paris (iR1).
  • 1881: birth of his daughter Jeanne (R54,p35); other sources mention 1882 (iR3).
  • 1882-1914: teaches drawing in Vanves, together with his friend Louis Roy (R54,p35;R3;R9;R56;iR70;iR3)
  • 1884: birth of his son Paul (R54,p36;iR3)
  • 1885+86: Schuffenecker lived at 29, Rue Boulard, Paris (R2,p446;R36,p14)
  • 1886: stays in Concarneau (R54,p36)
  • 1886: with Gauguin and Bernard in Pont-Aven (R54,p36)
  • 1887: stays in Étretat and Yport (R54,p36)
  • 1890-96: starts to get interested in the Theosophical ideas of Madame Blavatsky and later joins the movement of the Rosicrusians (R54,p36;R9).
  • 1892: Schuffenecker is mentioned as partaker of the 1st Salon de la Rose+Croix, but there are no titles rendered (iR1;iR40;R256)
  • 1892: stays with Bernard in Étretat (R54,p36)
  • 1893: stays in Dieppe (R54,p36)
  • 1903: his marriage ends (R54,p36); already in 1899 his wife demanded a divorce; she won the right of custody over their children (iR3)
  • 1903: sale of a part of his collection (R54,p36). Another source suggests this was in 1906, the collection containing works of Cézanne, Gauguin, Redon and Van Gogh (iR3).
  • 1906: Schuffenecker lived at 14, rue Durand-Claye, Paris (iR3)
  • 1918: his son Paul dies
  • 1934/07/31: death of Claude-Émile Schuffenecker in Paris, 33, Rue Olivier de Serres (R54,p37;iR3;iR24;iR69;R3;R9). He was buried at the Montparnasse cemetery on the 3th of August (iR3). Some sources mention he died 1934/08 (R24;R79;R81;R2).
  • 1941/10/31: his grandson Jacques Schuffenecker is born. He will become a painter in a Realist and Post-Cubism style (iR69).




My main source is René Porro 1992=R54). Other main sources are Rewald (1973,R1), Moffett (1986, R2), Walther (2013, R3,p695), Denvir (1993, R5), Pool (1987,R6), Schurr & Cabanne (2008=R9,p660/1), Spiess (1993,R16,p298), Dony (1976=R36), House (1979=R55,p126/7), Wardwell Lee (1988=R56,p82), Wikipedia (iR3), the RKD (iR24), Bénézit (iR69), Groove Art (iR70), askart (iR41)  and the Salon database (iR1). For other general references (=R) see. My main sources (for the pictures) from the internet are the-Athenaeum (iR2), Wikimedia (iR6), Mutual-art (iR11) and Google Images (iR10). For other references to internet sites (=iR) see. For other additional references (=aR) see below. See links for practical hints and abbreviations and for the subscription of the paintings.
For further reading see:
Thieme Becker (R79,Vol.30,p320); Bénézit (R75,1976, Vol.9,p448; R76,1999,Vol.12,p542/3), Busse (R77,1977,p1133), Witt (R78,p279), Allgemeines Künstlerlexikon (R81,1999-2000, Vol.9,p84). (iR24)
Grossvogel, Jill-Elyse: Catalogue Raisonné, vol.1. San Francisco, 2000. (in English; iR24)
Grossvogel, Jill-Elyse & Catherine Puget: Emile Schuffenecker 1851-1934; exhibition catalogue. Musée de Pont-Aven, 1996 (in French; iR24;iR3).
Grossvogel, Jill-Elyse: Claude Emile Schuffenecker, 1851-1934; exhibition catalogue. Binghamton, 1980. (iR70;iR69;R2,p504;R56;R56)
Paul, Charles-Guy le &G. Dudensig: Gauguin et Schuffenecker. Bulletin des Amis du Musée de Rennes, no.2, special edition on Pont-Aven. Rennes, 1978. (iR69;R2,p504)
Monneret (1978,R88,p231-3) (iR70)
Claude-Emile Schuffenecker and the school of Pont-Aven; exhibition catalogue. Regina, 1977 (R2,p504).
Fouquet, J.: Emile Schuffenecker: 60 pastels, 40 dessins. Paris, 1963. (iR70;R56)
Boudot-Lamotte, Maurice: Le peintre et collectionneur Claude-Emile Schuffenecker (1851-1934). L’Amour de l’Art XVII/8, October 1936 (iR3).

Additional references:

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