Naturalism was a phenomenon of Northern Europe, centred in Paris with Jules Bastien-Lepage as its high priest. Except here it is in the Italian island of Sicily, in the backstreets of Catania.
Miners on strike in the Nord-Pas de Calais coalfield in 1880, a painting which may well have inspired Émile Zola to write his most popular novel, ‘Germinal’.
In 1882, he painted with Vincent van Gogh in The Hague. A Naturalist without realist style, he showed street life as it was, and loved Japonism too.
Little-known now, and only for his paintings of harvesters and gleaners, in his day he was at the leading edge of the Naturalist revolution, painting scientists.
An emaciated corpse in a morgue, a notorious nude rejected by the Salon, and a busy day in the couturier: his choice of motifs was very broad.
With his many different styles and genres, from sketchy post-Impressionism to his mature Precisionism, he was nothing if not versatile and varied.