George Sand(1804 - 1876)
Altes Rathaus, Ingelheim 28.4.–7.7.2013
Museum Behnhaus/Drägerhaus, Lübeck 27.7.–20.10.2013
Internationale Tage Ingelheim
Wort/Bild/Künstler von Goethe bis Ringelnatz. Und Herta Müller 2013, P. 153
Authenticated by George Sand’s granddaughter.
The transcription on the back explains: That this study is by George Sand done by my grandmother, dated to 1873-74. It is from the evening, it was in the lounge where she painted and prepared this landscape.
Amantine- Aurore- Lucile Dupin, now known by her nom de plume of George Sand war born in Paris in 1804. Sand was born into a wealthy family, harking from nobility on her paternal side. Sand is most commonly known for her career as a rustic novelist, for her illicit affairs with characters such as Chopin and her close friendships with the Romantic circle, particularly Eugene Delacroix who was known to use Sand as a model for a few paintings and drawings. Sand spending the majority of her adult life in Paris had a strong connection to the countryside, growing up with her grandmother in Nohant. As a result her style of writing focused predominantly on the Berry countryside and the obstacles of class and convention. This subject type can also be seen in her ventures in fine art, many of her drawing studies focusing on landscapes, such as the drawing presented here.
Sand, though infamous for her turbulent private life is also hailed as one of the century’s greatest feminists. Abandoning her name for a male name and dressing predominantly in male attire, Sand was considered somewhat radical for her time period. She was heavily criticised by many for being ungraceful and unladylike, however she took great pride in flaunting this. Her name became testament to her persona. First publishing under the name Jules Sand, the name developed in her novel Indiana where she adopted the male counterpart to her name George Sand.
Towards the end of her life George Sand spent the majority of her time between Paris and Nohant. Nohant would serve as a memory of her grandmother, it was where the individuality of her grandmother was vividly impressed upon her and it was the place she spent most of her childhood. The house the Château de Pictordu still stands, preserved in its original state today. The inscription by Sand’s granddaughter on the back of the drawing would imply that the drawing presented was done from the lounge of the house in 1873, when she is known to have been resident in Nohant. The landscape could have been the view from Sand’s window looking out at the back of the house, which was surrounded by trees and greenery. Sand’s house in Nohant is still preserved as it was left today.
During the period of 1873-74, George Sand was fond of painting and sketching landscapes. Madame Alice Saunier- Seité writes in the catalogue of George Sand’s work from 1977 that George Sand had a “…real talent for drawing during her entire life, sharing this talent with her father Maurice…. She sought to gain her freedom, without result in drawing portraits in pencil or watercolour. In her final years, she discovered this in drawing landscapes, which she often saw as fantasies.” Saunier- Seité explains that by looking at the landscape, Sand uses it as a point of departure for her drawings, allowing her drawings to take the form of her fantasies. In this mould, one would be lead to believe that Sand did achieve the freedom she sought to achieve through her drawings and studies, which she felt she lacked in her portraits.
A similar example of a study of a landscape done by George Sand in Nohant can be seen in the drawing entitled, Bords d’une rivière completed in 1974. The drawing, currently on sale at Christies, also includes an inscription by Sand’s granddaughter and is likely to have been a painting of the same subject, the view from George Sand’s salon.
Amandine-Lucie-Aurore DUPIN, dite George SAND
Bords d’une rivière
avec inscription ‘Cette aquarelle a été peinte par ma grand’mère George Sand en 1874 Aurore Sand’ au dos du montage
aquarelle, dentrite 122 x 154 mm.
George Sand died at Nohant on 8 June 1876, at the age of 71 and was buried in the grounds of her home there.
 Saunier- Seité. A, George Sand: Visage du Romantisme, Bibliothéque Nationale. Paris, 1977, pg. 151. Translation done by author.
 Saunier- Seité. A, George Sand: Visage du Romantisme, pg. 151.