(Brantôme 1885 - 1958)
The Sallegourde tower seen from rue Séguier - Périgueux
H. 29 cm; L. 22.5 cm
Signed and located at the bottom
Provenance: Private collection, Périgueux
Robert Dessales-Quentin was born in one of the most beautiful villages in France: Brantôme, nicknamed the Venice of Périgord, since it is located on the banks of the Dronne, river which has become a natural defense by encircling the village. This small town in the north of Périgord was the playground throughout the artist's life. At the age of four, he completely lost his hearing as a result of a treatment unsuitable for his intolerance to quinine, then unknown. His father, a notary from Brantôme, decides to send him quickly to Paris where he will study at the National Institute for deaf-mutes. Conscious of his artistic tastes, his parents enrolled him in the Jullian Academy, in the studio of the famous Jean-Paul Laurens. Man of taste and terribly attached to his land. Dessales-Quentin will easily orient himself towards landscapes rather than towards history painting to which his studies predestined him. It is in Périgord that he will return quickly and find his way in the representation of the local heritage. Castles, beautiful residences, churches or views of cities will be presented from 1909 at the Salon des Artistes Français in Paris. It is in watercolor that he will be most comfortable, even obtaining in 1928 a Great Honorable Mention at the Salon, a rare occurrence for this medium. In oil he will have several different periods and styles, in particular a period that we could call "wisteria", due to the recurring presence of this plant between the two wars in his paintings. Drawing teacher for more than fifteen years in the great Institution Saint-Joseph de Périgueux, and in his studio in the rue du Plantier, he was named by his students the "brilliant left-handed". It is also within this workshop that Dessales-Quentin welcomed the "all-Périgord" every year for an exhibition of his highly anticipated works. Used to old Périgord stones, he will not forsake "elsewhere". The Corrèze will be a land of recurring passage, but also the Basque Country, French and Spanish. He will exhibit in many French cities his works, traces of which we find very regularly through the well-known labels on the back of the watercolors and their original framing.
In the heart of Périgueux are some vestiges protruding from the roofs, proof of the presence of a few mansions, towers escaping from the common world. This is the tower of the Hôtel de Sallegourde (or Saltgourde), dating from the 15th century, which dominates the charming alleys of the old town which nestles against the Saint Front cathedral. This mansion property was built by a consul of the city, Arnaud de Séguy, and will then pass to the Sallegourde family, whose name it will keep. This set located near the Mataguerre tower is precisely immortalized by Dessales-Quentin, in the heart of rue Séguier which is located further west.