The Complete Works of Philippe Smit
by Andreas Narzt and Florence Castellani
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Catalogue entry

Photo: Christopher Burke Studios, NY; © FdDPS
Photo: Christopher Burke Studios, NY; FdDPS
Original frame designed and painted by the artist.


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Classification: Pastel »
Theme: landscape »
Medium: Pastel »
Year(s): 1928 »
PS 303 (P 145)
Rocky Landscape with Broom, Recloses
Alternate title: Landscape with Rocks and Flowers (mostly yellow)
34 1/8 x 45 7/8 in. (86.5 x 116.5 cm)
Signed lower left: Philippe Smit
On the back: exhibition label Philadelphia on the frame upper center and a small handwritten label: Theod. P./ 145 on the protective backing panel lower left.
This painting could not be examined during the preparation of the catalogue raisonné.
Inv. Les Pleignes, P. Damidot, 1938, LNC archives: no. P 145, p. 17, chambre de Monsieur & Madame Pitcairn, Grand Pastel par Philippe Smit./ Paysage de la forêt de Fontainebleau avec figure de jeune femme ailée au milieu des rochers et des genêts. 7.000 [FRF].
Inv. Pitcairn, n.d. [c.1957], n.p., LNC archives: no. P 145 F, Rev. Theodore Pitcairn, Rocks W. Gentian [sic] in Recloses (Before Accident called 'Lottie in Recloses Valley'), Smit, Pastel, 34 x 45 1/2 [in.].
Inv. LNC, 1984, updated Oct. 1998, LNC archives: no. P 145, p. 3, The Main Residence - Dining Room, Rocks with Gentian [sic] in Recloses (Before accident, called 'Lottie in Recloses Valley'), Pastel, [1998: Sold, Lorenzo], 34 x 45 1/2 [in.].
The Lord's New Church, Bryn Athyn, PA (donation from the above)
Lorenzo Mitchell (bought from the Lord’s New Church in 1987)
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, Collection of the Rev. and Mrs. Theodore Pitcairn, June 17–September 15, 1960, no. 53, Landscape with Rocks and Flowers (mostly yellow), 11-1960-53 (title and n° on the exhibition label).
Literature & Primary Sources
Philippe Smit. ALS to René and Mathilde Massé. n.d. [22 May 1928].
"[…] j’ai peu travailler, j’ai fait/ un grand pastel de gênet en fleur dans la vallée/ de Recloses contre une collines profonds de couleurs/ avec un Anges pour sollanellisé [solenniser] encore davantages émotion/ de la natures. J’ai beaucoup de pensée mes [mais] les derniers temps/ J’arrive à peu de resultat, enfin patience […]" [sic] (… I could work, I made a large pastel of flowering broom in the Recloses valley against a hill of deep colors, with an angel (fig. 1) to solemnize even more the emotion of nature. I have many ideas but recently I do not accomplish much, patience is needed …) (Philippe Smit, 1928d)

It seems that this pastel like the Angel of the Twilight [PS 353] and Two Birch Trees [PS 256] was selected at the very last moment for the exhibition at Galerie Maurs1 as it is not listed in the catalogue but was nevertheless on the lorry delivering the works. For lack of any other indications, the accident which is mentioned in the various inventories (see above) coincides certainly with the one of the lorry2. Although the statement of damages only indicates "scratches"3 the artist must have replaced the angel (Lotty) with flowering broom and rocks when restoring the pastel then.

1. See 1948 Maurs.
2. Idem.
3. "Statement of the damage caused at Plessis-Chenet …", n.d. [1948], 4 typwritten pages, p. 2, (LNC archives).

Additional images
FIG. 1 Pastel before accident (old photograph, private archives, Paris).
Record last updated May 9, 2017. Please note that the information on this and all pages is periodically reviewed and subject to change.
Citation: Narzt, Andreas and Castellani, Florence. "Rocky Landscape with Broom, Recloses, 1928 (PS 303)." The Complete Works of Philippe Smit. (accessed on September 26, 2021).