Léo Marie Gausson
French, 1860 - 1944
Peasant in the Street, ca. 1890s
Oil on canvas
21 5/8 x 15 inches
Saint Vincent Art & Heritage Collections
Gift of Michael and Aimee Rusinko Kakos
Among the earliest proponents of Neo-Impressionism, Léo Gausson worked principally in his hometown and the pastoral environs of Lagny-sur-Marne, east of Paris. Together with Maximilien Luce, Émile-Gustave Cavallo-Péduzzi, and Lucien Pissarro, Gausson was interested in the scientific perception of color. Inspired by the writings of color theorists and the innovative work of Georges Seurat and Paul Signac, he experimented with placing unmixed strokes of complementary and contrasting colors adjacent to one another to heighten visual effect within the viewer’s eye, known as optical mixing. Peasant in the Street features a farmer walking past the remnants of a home—symbols of a receding way of life. The painting is a quintessential example of the artist’s signature stippling technique.