Page 1

STEPHEN ONGPIN FINE ART


Cover: Armand Point (1861-1932) Âme d’Automne (Autumn Soul) No.12


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Lucien LĂŠvy-Dhurmer (1865-1953) The Dent du Chat, Savoy No.20


THE ART OF PASTEL THREE CENTURIES OF WORKS ON PAPER 2014

An exhibition at Stephen Ongpin Fine Art Riverwide House 6 Mason’s Yard Duke Street, St. James London SW1Y 6BU

18th June to 25th July, 2014

Stephen Ongpin Fine Art Ltd. in association with

Camu Art Ltd.


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS We are much indebted to Laura Ongpin, Lavinia Harrington and Julie Frouge for their constant support and invaluable assistance in all aspects of preparing this catalogue. We would also like to thank the handful of private collectors who have kindly lent works to this exhibition, as well as the following people for their help and advice in the preparation of this catalogue and the pastels included herein: Agnès Aittouarès, Deborah Bates, Irène Beard, Alain Camu, Glynn Clarkson, Salamander Davoudi, Philip Fiske de Gouveia, Cheryl and Gino Franchi, Rosa Goodman, Dean Hearn, Waring Hopkins, Christopher Lloyd, Elodie Michaud, Brigitte Olivier, Leonora Oppenheim, Tanya Paul, Guy Peppiatt, Theodore Reff, Sarah Ricks, James Roundell, Laurence Shorter, Lara SmithBosanquet, Larry Sunden, Todd-White Photography, Joseph Vandenbroeck, Emma Ward, Joanna Watson, Jenny Willings and Claire Wrathall. Sophie Camu Stephen Ongpin

Dimensions are given in millimetres and inches, with height before width. Unless otherwise noted, paper is white or whitish. High-resolution digital images of the drawings are available on request. All enquiries should be addressed to Stephen Ongpin or Sophie Camu at Stephen Ongpin Fine Art 6 Mason’s Yard Duke Street St James’s London SW1Y 6BU Tel. [+44] (20) 7930-8813 or [+44] (7710) 328-627 Fax [+44] (20) 7839-1504 e-mail: info@stephenongpinfineart.com or sophie.camu@camuart.com


THE ART OF PASTEL THREE CENTURIES OF WORKS ON PAPER 2014

Presented by

STEPHEN ONGPIN in association with

SOPHIE CAMU


INTRODUCTION ‘Pastel: powdered colour with an infinite range of shades and gradations, of unfading freshness and intensity, spanning more than 1650 nuances of the colour spectrum, and particularly fitted for ease and rapidity of handling, immediate transcription of an emotion or an idea, easily effaced, easily reworked and blended. The pigments can be rubbed in, made luminous and velvety, or given a soft and silky matness of grain. Pastel is line and colour at once.’1 We are delighted to present The Art of Pastel: Three Centuries of Works on Paper, an exhibition in which we aim to draw attention to the central importance of the pastel medium in the work of some of the finest draughtsmen in Western art from the 18th through to the 20th century. Inspired by our shared admiration for this versatile medium, we have assembled this small but carefully chosen group of pastels over some time; not as a complete history of pastel, but to highlight the inventiveness and artistic exploration that this medium has inspired among artists. A number of works come from private collections, and have not been seen on the art market for decades. The unique structure of pastel lends itself to infinite opportunities for artistic expression. It confers a non-yellowing brilliance and a velvety appearance when it is applied to paper and is, even though fragile, produced in over 1,500 different shades and hues. It can be blended to a smooth finish, or each stroke can be kept distinct to connote fleeting movement and light effects. Pastel is bright, luxurious and fluid, and can be used to capture the twinkle in an eye, the breeze over a landscape or the velvety tones of a night-time scene. While the purity, strength and richness of colour of the pastel medium allowed artists to achieve remarkable effects, they also had to work with speed and precision, sometimes blending the pastel strokes with a finger or stump to create ever more diaphanous effects. First mentioned with reference to Leonardo da Vinci at the end of the 15th century as ‘the manner of dry colouring’, pastel only began to be used widely by artists in the 17th century. Unlike red, black, and white chalks, which occur in nature, pastels are manufactured from a combination of pure pigments and a water-soluble binder, shaped into sticks and slowly dried. The advent of commercial pastel manufacturing in the 18th century saw a rapid increase in its use, especially for portraiture, as perhaps best exemplified in the work of Rosalba Carriera. However, it declined in popularity in the early years of the 19th century, until revived by Romantic artists such as Eugène Delacroix. The second half of the 19th century followed with a remarkably creative period of richness, diversity and experimentation in the art of pastel. Drawings and works on paper were increasingly valued, collected and exhibited as complete works of art in their own right, while in France the Société des Pastellistes Français was founded in 1885 to promote the work of artists working in pastel, with the first exhibition dedicated to this medium held in Paris the same year. Pastel reached its apogee with the Impressionists, who were attracted by the wide variety of colours available with which they could capture the bright and transient effects of nature and light. As Christopher Lloyd has aptly noted, ‘the proclivity for pastel in its many forms shown by several of the Impressionist and Post-Impressionist draughtsmen derived…from its centrality in the debate between line and colour: it was none other than drawing and painting at the same time.’2 The portable nature of pastel sticks also gave rise to their use for recording nature en plein air by artists who preferred to take their easels outdoors and work quickly, rather than in the artificial conditions of the studio. This versatile medium was also employed by the Impressionists to capture spirited portraits of their contemporaries. The medium was brought to new heights by Edgar Degas, who in his later work blended pastel with gouache, tempera and oil paints diluted with turpentine. The 20th century saw artists exploring the boundaries of how to perceive and record the visible – and invisible – world around them. Many artists chose the bright colours of pastel to exaggerate visual effects of nature, or the spiritual or abstract, in order to express a heightened emotional response. The works in this exhibition exemplify how pastel has retained a freshness and contemporary quality. Thanks to its synthetic nature, colour spectrum and velvety effects, pastel remains relevant to many artists today, who continue to explore the boundaries of experimentation in this medium. Sophie Camu Stephen Ongpin


1 ROSALBA CARRIERA Venice 1673-1757 Venice The Virgin in Prayer Pastel on paper, laid down on linen. 251 x 198 mm. (9 7/ 8 x 7 3/4 in.) PROVENANCE: Private collection, London. LITERATURE: Annalisa Scarpa, Omaggio a Rosalba Carriera: Miniature e Pastelli nelle collezioni private, Venice, 1997, p.34 (where dated after 1723); Neil Jeffares, Dictionary of pastellists before 1800 [online edition], p.13. The Venetian artist Rosalba Carriera is often credited with the invention of the pastel portrait. Characterized by a superb mastery of technique, her work in pastel raised the practice to new heights, while her brief stay in Paris between 1720 and 1721 was influential in establishing the fashion for the medium that flowered in France later in the century. As the 18th century French connoisseur Pierre-Jean Mariette wrote of Carriera’s pastels, ‘It must be agreed that this Demoiselle has discovered the art of treating this type of Painting in a way that no one had before her, which makes the most skilful say that this sort of pastel, with all the strength and truth of colours, preserves a certain freshness and lightness of touch where transparent, which is superior to that of oil painting.’1 Carriera’s early work consisted mainly of miniature portraits on ivory – serving either to decorate the lids of snuff boxes or as works of art in their own right – the subjects of which tended towards mythological or allegorical depictions of women. In 1705 she was admitted as a ‘pittrice e miniatrice veneziana’ into the Accademia di San Luca in Rome. Around the same time, however, Carriera began to produce the pastel portraits on which much of her current reputation rests; indeed, she may be said to have pioneered the use of the medium for portraiture. A pastel self-portrait of 1708 was much admired and was acquired by the Grand Duke Cosimo III de’ Medici for his collection of artist’s selfportraits; it is today in the Uffizi. From the second decade of the 18th century onwards Carriera’s pastel portraits took on a more subtle tonality, with delicate colours and a greater interest in the characterization of her sitters. Her commissioned pastel portraits of this period, while often of such grand personalities as King Augustus II of Poland, retain a degree of intimacy and informality that adds significantly to their charm. Carriera worked for a large circle of clients in Venice and throughout Italy, as well as in France, England, Germany, Austria and Scandinavia. Invited to France in 1720 by the collector Pierre Crozat, she spent just over a year in Paris. There she achieved great success and enjoyed considerable acclaim, with the patronage of prominent figures at court – she produced several portraits of Louis XV as a boy, both in pastel and in miniature – and members of the aristocracy. Following her stay in Paris, Carriera’s reputation as one of the leading pastellists in Europe was firmly established. Pastel drawings came to dominate her output, and later in her career she produced fewer miniatures. Among her many illustrious patrons was Friedrich-Augustus II, Elector of Saxony, who formed one of the largest collections of her work. Indeed, a room in his palace in Dresden, hung with over 150 pastel drawings by the artist, was regarded as one of the finest sights in the city. Religious subjects are rare in Rosalba Carriera’s oeuvre, although she received commissions for depictions of the Virgin and Mary Magdalene for the gallery at Dresden2. The present sheet is one of the finest examples among the handful of Carriera’s pastel drawings of the Virgin, and displays the distinct influence of such 16th century painters as Correggio, whose work she greatly admired. While Carriera often repeated her compositions, no other variant of this particular pastel is known. Among comparable works is a much larger pastel of The Virgin in the Museo Correr in Venice3.


2 JEAN-BAPTISTE MARIE PIERRE Paris 1714-1789 Paris The Head of a Female Figure Wearing a Helmet Pastel and black chalk on blue paper. Signed Pierre in brown ink at the bottom centre. 305 x 227 mm. (12 x 8 7/ 8 in.) PROVENANCE: Louis Meier, London; Purchased from him in c.1955 by Ralph Holland, Newcastle. LITERATURE: Nicolas Lesur and Olivier Aaron, Jean-Baptiste Marie Pierre 1714-1789: Premier peintre du roi, Paris, 2009, p.459, no.D.437 (as location unknown); Neil Jeffares, Dictionary of pastellists before 1800 [online edition], p.2, illustrated. EXHIBITED: Newcastle, Hatton Gallery, Old Master Drawings, From the XVIth to the XIXth century, 1960, no.57; Newcastle, Hatton Gallery, Old Master Drawings, 1964, no.81; Newcastle, Hatton Gallery, Italian and Other Drawings 1500-1800, 1974, no.112. Jean-Baptiste Marie Pierre enjoyed a highly successful career as a painter of easel pictures, church altarpieces and large-scale decorative schemes, mostly executed between the 1740’s and the 1760’s. He won the Grand Prix de Rome in 1734 with a painting of Samson and Delilah, now lost, and studied at the Académie de France in Rome between 1735 and 1740. Pierre made his debut at the Salon the following year, and was reçu at the Académie Royale in 1742, followed two years later by his appointment as a professor there. In 1752 he was named premier peintre to the Duc d’Orléans, for whom he produced ceiling paintings for the Palais Royal in Paris. Pierre painted numerous works for Parisian churches, including altarpieces for Saint-Germain-des-Prés, Saint-Louis du Louvre, Saint-Sulpice and Saint-Roch, where he also painted the cupola of the church, as well as the cathedral of Saint-Louis in Versailles. He also provided mural and ceiling decorations for the chateaux of Fontainebleau, Versailles and Saint-Cloud. In 1770, Pierre was named premier peintre du roi, succeeding François Boucher, and director of the Académie Royale. The 1770’s and 1780’s found the artist mainly engaged on administrative tasks, with a corresponding decline in his painted output. Although a record of the contents of his studio, published after his death in 1789, mentions ‘boetes à couleur & au pastel’1, Pierre seems to have only used the medium of pastel occasionally. Just a handful of works in this medium by the artist have survived, although other examples are recorded in 18th and 19th century auction catalogues. Pierre’s few known pastel drawings take the form of character heads or têtes d’expression, either of beautiful young women2 – seemingly inspired by the example of Rosalba Carriera – or of old, bearded men. It has been suggested that, during the last two decades of his career, as he found himself burdened with administrative duties and unable to devote much time to painting, Pierre continued to produce pastel drawings, many of which may have been intended as gifts. This drawing remains unrelated to any surviving painting by Pierre, although a close physiognomical similarity may be noted with the head of an allegorical figure of Strength, one of a series of red monochrome paintings executed by the artist in 1753 for the Cabinet de Conseil at the Château of Fontainebleau3. Similar heads are also found in other paintings by Pierre, such as that of Athena in two of a set of four canvases illustrating scenes from the story of Ulysses, painted around 17474. While the present sheet has the appearance of being a study for a painting, the fact that it is signed5 also suggests that it may have been intended as an independent work of art, despite being not as finished as most other surviving pastel heads by the artist. A stylistically comparable drawing in pastel by Pierre, also drawn on blue paper, is a study of a bearded man in the collection of the Albertina in Vienna6.


3 CHARLES-LAURENT MARÉCHAL Metz 1801-1887 Bar-le-Duc Study of a Man Charcoal, pastel, red and white chalk on buff paper. Oval. Signed Maréchal in red chalk at the lower right centre. 421 x 313 mm. (16 1/ 2 x 12 1/4 in.) [image] 457 x 325 mm. (18 x 12 3/4 in.) [sheet] Born into poverty, Charles-Laurent Maréchal (known as Maréchal de Metz) was trained as a saddler in his native Metz but began studying painting in the studio of Jean-Baptiste Regnault in Paris. In 1825 he returned to Metz, where the following year he won a second-class silver medal at the Exposition du Département de la Moselle for a painting of Job. Other paintings followed over the next few years, including a painting entitled Prayer that the artist presented to King Louis-Philippe on his visit to Metz in 1831, and an Apotheosis of Saint Catherine painted in 1842 for the cathedral at Metz. Maréchal eventually abandoned oil painting, however, in favour of the medium of pastel, which was better suited to his spirited technique. He exhibited a number of pastels at the annual Salons, with titles such as Hungarian Woodcutters, exhibited in 1840, and The Little Gypsy, shown the following year. Maréchal was recognized as the leader of a local school of artists that flourished in Metz between 1834 and 1870, and which was christened the ‘École de Metz’ by the poet Charles Baudelaire in 1845. Inspired by the work of Eugène Delacroix and the medieval past of Metz, as well as the Romantic landscape of the surrounding area, this group of artists, of whom Maréchal was the best known, was disbanded following the FrancoPrussian War and the annexation of the city by Germany in 1871. Charles-Laurent Maréchal is perhaps best known, however, as one of the most significant painters in stained glass of his day. A number of stained glass designs, exhibited at the Exposition Universelle of 1851, won him a first-class medal, while two large hemicycles executed for the Palais de l’Industrie in Paris in 1855 earned the artist the rank of Officer of the Legion of Honour. Maréchal painted stained glass windows for several churches in Paris, including Saint-Vincent-de-Paul, Sainte-Clothilde, Saint-Jacquesdu-Haut-Pas and Saint-Germain-l’Auxerrois, as well as for the cathedrals of Cambrai, Limoges, Metz and Troyes and numerous smaller churches. It has been estimated that, over the course of his long career as a maître-verrier, Maréchal was responsible for the design of some 57,000 square metres of stained glass in over 1,500 churches. His son, Charles-Raphaël and daughter Hélène were also painters. Works by Charles-Laurent Maréchal are today in several provincial museums in France, as well as in the collection of the Bowes Museum at Barnard Castle. The second half of his career found Maréchal working frequently in pastel, depicting genre subjects, portraits and landscapes. Among the pastels by the artist in public collections is a very large and highly finished composition depicting two peasant women cowering in fear of a wolf, exhibited at the Salon of 1876 and today in the Louvre1, while a copy in pastel after a detail of one of the paintings in Rubens’s Marie de Medici cycle is in the Musée Barrois at Bar-le-Duc. A number of other pastels by Maréchal are today in the museum in Metz, while a splendid pastel portrait of the Hungarian composer and pianist Franz Liszt, dated 1840, is in the collection of the Richard-Wagner-Museum in Bayreuth.


4 PAUL HUET Paris 1803-1869 Paris Coastal Scene, Normandy (Atmosphère transparente, côte normande) Pastel on buff paper, the sheet folded in half. 154 x 233 mm. (6 x 9 1/ 8 in.) [image] PROVENANCE: The artist’s studio, with the atelier stamp (Lugt 1268) at the lower right; By descent in the family of the artist; The first Huet studio sale, Versailles, Salons du Trianon-Palace, 28 May 1962, lot 46 (‘Atmosphère transparente (côte normande, 1847)’); An unknown English auction, in 1967; Roland, Browse and Delbanco, London; Private collection, London. EXHIBITED: Paris, Bibliothèque d’Art et d’Archéologie, Centenaire du Romantisme: Exposition Paul Huet, March 1930, Pastels no.14 (‘Atmosphère transparente de la plage normande. – 1847’). As a young boy and only child, Paul Huet spent his summers drawing and sketching on the Ile Séguin, near Paris, and after leaving school decided to become an artist. In 1820, while training in the studio of Baron Gros at the École des Beaux-Arts, he met and befriended a fellow student, the young Englishman Richard Parkes Bonington. Huet, who, like all of Gros’s students, was engaged in the practice of plein-air sketching, learned the English manner of watercolour technique from Bonington, and his rapid command of the medium has meant that in later years works by the two artists have often been confused. At around the same time, Huet also met the young painter, Eugène Delacroix, who shared a studio in Paris with Bonington, and who was to remain a lifelong friend. Another early influence were the landscape paintings of John Constable, which were a revelation to the young Huet when they were first exhibited in France at the Salon of 1824. In 1826, Huet assisted Delacroix by painting the landscape background of the latter’s full-length portrait of Louis-Auguste Schwiter, now in the National Gallery in London. Following his own Salon debut in 1827, Huet accompanied Bonington on a sketching tour of the Normandy coast. This was to be the first of his extensive travels throughout France. The artist was to return often to the region of Normandy, from where his family originated, as well as the Auvergne and Provence, and, closer to Paris, the forests of Compiègne and Fontainebleau. He also visited Italy and England. At the Salon of 1831 his work was praised by the critic Gustave Planche, who noted that ‘M. Paul Huet is today placed at the head of the new school of landscapists...[he] has wanted, and still wants, after numerous and purely personal reflections, to take landscape painting back to nature, and that to get there he has sensed the imperious necessity of breaking violently and brusquely with currently adopted principles.’ Wherever he travelled, Huet made numerous drawings and sketches sur le motif, all imbued with a remarkable feeling for light and colour; indeed, he may be regarded as a precursor of Impressionism. As the artist once wrote, ‘for landscape colour is essential: it is its utmost expression, it cannot do without it any more than drawing.’1 Much of Huet’s work remained with his family after his death, and only a part of his studio inventory dispersed at auction in Paris in 1878. This vibrant beach scene, which may be dated to around 1847, was among those works retained by the artist’s descendants until it was sold at auction in 1962. By comparison with his numerous watercolours, as well as his drawings in pen or pencil, landscapes in pastel are very rare in Paul Huet’s oeuvre, and his work in this medium can generally be dated only to the decade of the 1840’s. Two similar, small pastel landscapes – views of Bagatelle and Saint-Cloud – are in the Louvre2, while other pastels by Huet are in private collections3.


5 JAMES THOMAS LINNELL Hampstead 1823-1905 Redhill Study of Oak Trees Pastel on brown paper. 592 x 491 mm. (23 3/ 8 x 19 3/ 8 in.) PROVENANCE: Mrs. G. Porter; Acquired from her by Agnew’s, London, in October 1967; Richard Kingzett, London, in 1968; Thence by descent. The second son of the landscape painter John Linnell, James Thomas Linnell studied at the Royal Academy Schools alongside his two brothers John and William. (His sister Hannah married the artist Samuel Palmer, whose influence can be seen in much of James’s work.) According to a contemporary biographical dictionary, James Thomas Linnell ‘inherited not a little of his father’s talent’1, although his palette was perhaps somewhat brighter. He exhibited almost annually at the Royal Academy between 1850 and 1888, at first showing religious subjects in which the landscape predominated; The Temptation in the Wilderness, exhibited in 1850, was followed a year later by Job and the Messengers. By the middle of the decade, however, he was exhibiting mainly landscapes with peasants, farm labourers or children – with titles such as Wheat-Field, Haymakers, Plowing, A Country Road and A Mower whets his Scythe - and it is for these pastoral landscapes that he is best known today. Works by James Linnell are today in the museums of Bradford, Brighton, Cardiff, Gateshead, Harrogate, Leeds, Manchester, Okehampton, Sheffield, Rochdale and Wolverhampton. Many of James Linnell’s landscapes were painted in and around the Redstone estate at Redhill, near Reigate in Surrey, which his father John Linnell had acquired in 1851 and where all the members of the family lived. Writing in 1872, one critic noted that ‘James Thomas Linnell...is entitled to share with his brother William the estimation in which their pictures are held by the amateur and collector, sometimes rivalling even those of his father...It is so rare an occurrence to find a picture by any one of the Linnell family bearing the distinctive title of the place represented, that one would naturally be led to suppose the compositions are merely imaginary; but this, as a rule, is far from the case. Surrey, and the wealds of Sussex, supply the artists with the ground-work of most of their beautiful compositions, and the localities may generally be recognized by those who are well acquainted with them.’2 A stylistically comparable, albeit much smaller, pastel landscape by James Thomas Linnell, depicting a view from the road from Bettwys-y-Coed to Dolwyddeln in North Wales, was formerly in the collection of George Goyder3. Also similar is another, smaller Welsh view in coloured chalks, depicting a view near Pen-y-Coed, which was formerly in the collections of Sir Bruce Ingram and Michael Ingram4.


6 LOUISE MARIE BECQ DE FOUQUIÈRES Paris 1824-1891 Paris(?) Portrait of a Young Breton Woman from Fouesnant Pastel. Signed, inscribed and dated Lse Becq de Fouquières / Fouesant / 1869 in pencil along the right edge. 468 x 369 mm. (18 3/ 8 x 14 1/ 2 in.) Louise Marie Anaïs Dedreux was the youngest sister of the painter Alfred De Dreux. In 1847, following the death of her elder sister Elise the previous year, Louise married Elise’s widowed husband, Aimé Napoléon Victor Becq de Fouquières (1811-1880). Louise studied with the painter Isidore Pils, who drew a charming pencil study of her seated at her easel, painting a portrait1. Louise first exhibited her work at the Salon of 1857, showing a pastel entitled La prière. She made a particular specialty of pastel portraits of women, many of which were exhibited at the Salons between 1857 and 1884, alongside a number of landscapes. Among her close friends was Georges-Hippolyte Géricault, the natural son of the artist Théodore Géricault, with whom she had an extensive correspondence. As the inscription on this large pastel notes, the woman depicted here is wearing a typical headdress worn by Breton women in Fouesnant, a commune in Brittany that lies on the south coast of Finistère, not far from Quimper2. Several similar Breton subjects appear among the works that Becq de Fouquières sent to the annual Salons, notably a pastel entitled Jeune fille de Kerfunton (Finistère), shown at the Salon of 1877. Only a very few works by Louise Becq de Fouquières have appeared on the art market. A large and highly finished pastel drawing of a young peasant girl holding a distaff, signed and dated 1862, was sold at auction in 19843, while a painting of a peasant woman sewing appeared at auction in 19874.


7 HILAIRE-GERMAIN-EDGAR DEGAS Paris 1834-1917 Paris Beach at Low Tide (Plage à marée basse) Pastel on brown paper. Stamped with the Degas vente stamp (Lugt 658) in red ink at the lower left. 272 x 396 mm. (10 3/4 x 15 5/ 8 in.) PROVENANCE: The Atelier Degas, Paris; The fourth Vente Degas, Paris, Galerie Georges Petit, 2-4 July 1919, lot 48a (‘Plage à marée basse.’), sold with another pastel for 3,600 francs1 to Vignier; Charles Vignier, Paris; His sale, Paris, Hôtel Drouot, 21 May 1931, lot 51 (sold for 2,100 francs to Viau); Dr. Georges Viau, Paris; His estate sale, Paris, Hôtel Drouot, 11 December 1942, lot 62 (sold for 52,000 francs); Musée de l’Athénée, Geneva, in 1963; Acquired from them by a private collector; Private collection, Switzerland, since 1963. LITERATURE: Paul-André Lemoisne, Degas et son oeuvre, Paris, 1946, Vol.II, pp.118-119, no.244 (‘Plage à marée basse.’), where dated c.1869; Franco Russoli and Fiorella Minervino, L’opera completa di Degas, Milan, 1970, p.100, no.310. Edgar Degas began to experiment with the medium of pastel in the early 1860’s, but did not use it with any real frequency until the end of the decade. He may have been inspired to take up the medium through his interest in the great pastellists of the previous century, to judge from a comment made by the Impressionist collector Louisine Havemeyer, who was a close friend of the artist and assembled a superb collection of his works. As she recalled in her memoirs, though Degas was usually careful with money, as a collector he was ‘extravagant only when he could find a pastel by La Tour, whom he greatly admired.’2 (Indeed, Degas’s own collection included at least two pastel portraits by the 18th century French pastellist Maurice Quentin de La Tour and another by La Tour’s contemporary Jean-Baptiste Perronneau.) By 1877, a reviewer of the Salon of that year could write, of the pastels by Degas shown there, that the artist was attempting ‘to revive the medium by rejuvenating it...[resulting in pastels] not unworthy of the great tradition of La Tour and Chardin.’3 At first Degas worked with pastel mostly for small works and studies, but by the 1880’s his use of the medium had developed to the extent that it accounted for almost two-thirds of his output, with the artist creating fully-fledged pictures and large-scale compositions in pastel. (Several of Degas’s pastel drawings were made over a monotype base, a practice he began around 1876 or 1877.) The artist found the pastel medium to be an ideal means of capturing transient effects of light and atmosphere in a landscape, something he had not always been able to achieve before. From about 1895 onwards Degas seems to have worked almost wholly in pastel, largely as a result of his failing eyesight. As one scholar has noted, ‘Even the ablest practitioners such as Cassatt, Forain, Redon, and Renoir, who each made numerous pastels, were not as committed to the medium to the same extent as Degas, nor were they as open to exploring the many ways it could be used.’4 In all, some seven hundred pastels by Degas are known, depicting most of his preferred subjects; ballet dancers, bathers and racing scenes, as well as landscapes. This and the following sheet are part of a series of more than forty pastel studies of landscapes and seascapes, probably done en plein air, which were drawn by Degas on the Channel coast in the summer and autumn of 18695. Degas spent much of the summer of 1869 at the village of Beuzeval, near Houlgate and Villers-sur-Mer on the Normandy coast. He spent his time making pastel landscape drawings along the small stretch of coastline between Villers, Houlgate and Dives-sur-Mer to the southwest. (He also paid a visit to Edouard Manet, who was spending the summer at Boulogne-sur-Mer.) In these works, Degas may have been inspired by the early seascapes of his friend James McNeill Whistler, as well as the pastel landscapes of Eugène Delacroix, whose work he avidly collected.


Paul-André Lemoisne, the author of the seminal catalogue raisonné of the artist’s works, noted of these Normandy scenes that ‘As he looks at them, Degas’s keen eye also registers the appearance of the countryside, the pale sea-green shore fringed with foam, the curve of a bank of golden sand, the outline of hills, a velvety meadow, the color of the sky. Later, back in the studio, the artist delights in recreating some of these places from memory, attempting to reproduce the colors and outlines with his sticks of pastel.’6 More recently, Christopher Lloyd has noted of these pastel landscapes that, ‘Degas concentrates on different times of day, changing atmospheric effects and varied meteorological conditions – sunlight, dampness, light breezes and sudden gusts of wind. The handling of the pastel is amazingly adroit – smoothly applied with delicate nuances in some areas and roughly treated in others. Above all, there is an eloquent sense of space and an aching feeling of emptiness.’7 Although until recently regarded by scholars as having been done in Degas’s Paris studio, Richard Kendall has convincingly argued that a number of these 1869 pastels are topographically accurate and depict actual sites on the Normandy coast, and that most – if not all – of these works must have been done on the spot. A note in one of Degas’s notebooks of this period underlines the artist’s close observation of his surroundings: ‘Villers-sur-Mer, sunset, cold and dull orange-pink, whitish green, neutral, sea like a sardine’s back and clearer than the sky…Line of the seashore brown, the first pools of water reflecting the orange, the second reflecting the upper sky; in front, coffee-coloured sand, rather sombre.’8 As Jean Sutherland Boggs has noted of the 1869 pastels, ‘In these works, Degas used pastel to capture an effect that was illusive and transitory.’9 With the artist looking out to sea, the precise location of this pastel cannot be determined, as is the case with almost half of the forty-odd pastels drawn in 1869. A recent description of a similar seascape from the same series, today in the Musée d’Orsay, may equally be applied to the present sheet: ‘in this seascape Degas worked with pastel lightly and openly...Using the warmth of the paper as an additional color that gives body to the sea in the foreground and suggests the inevitability of sand under our feet, he seems to have limited himself to four sticks of pastel: a white, a black, a blue, and a blue green. The buff visible through the strokes of blue green in the sea make it appear greener still. On the other hand, the blue in patches of the sky is intense...But the greatest subtlety is his emphasis on the horizon...’10 Among other comparable beach scenes from this 1869 group of pastels is a Seascape, with Beach at Low Tide in the collection of the Albertina in Vienna11. As Kendall has written of such works as this, ‘it is notable that almost all the seascapes and beach scenes are depicted under cloudy, overcast skies. None of them, however, is generalized, and each proposes a subtle variation on the theme of sea-mist, sun-lit haze or impending rain. Seen in this way, the pastels are as much a part of Degas’ documentary project as his land-based motifs, and even at their most vaporous must be seen as particularized accounts of local circumstances, rather than the efflorescences of a citydweller’s mind.’12 The present sheet was once part of a large and significant group of some sixty paintings, pastels and drawings by Degas assembled by the poet, writer and Oriental art scholar Charles Vignier (1863-1934). Vignier bought several works, including this pastel landscape, at the fourth Degas studio sale in 1919. At the sale of Vignier’s collection in 1931, this pastel was acquired by Dr. Georges Viau (1855-1939), a successful dentist and prominent collector of 19th and early 20th century French art. The sale of Viau’s collection in 1942 included thirty-four drawings and ten paintings by Degas.


8 HILAIRE-GERMAIN-EDGAR DEGAS Paris 1834-1917 Paris Coastal Landscape at Sunset, with a View of Cabourg (Paysage, soleil couchant) Pastel on light brown paper, mounted on board. Signed and dated degas / 69 in pencil at the lower left. Stamped with the Degas vente stamp (Lugt 658) in red ink at the lower left. Numbered M 4142 and 5532 in blue chalk on the backing board. 232 x 316 mm. (9 1/ 8 x 12 1/ 2 in.) PROVENANCE: The Atelier Degas, Paris; The fourth Vente Degas, Paris, Galerie Georges Petit, 2-4 July 1919, lot 51b (‘Paysage, soleil couchant.’), sold with another pastel for 3,300 francs1 to Comiot; Charles Comiot, Paris; Gustave Loiseau, Paris; By descent to Paul and Madeleine Loiseau; Acquired from them by a private collector in 1974; Private collection, Canada. LITERATURE: Paul-André Lemoisne, Degas et son oeuvre, Paris, 1946, Vol.II, pp.112-113, no.220 (‘Paysage, soleil couchant. Étude au pastel.’), where dated c.1869; Franco Russoli and Fiorella Minervino, L’opera completa di Degas, Milan, 1970, p.100, no.300 (‘Tramonto’); Richard Kendall, Degas Landscapes, New Haven and London, 1993, p.282, note 35. EXHIBITED: Leeds, Harewood House, In Cloud Country: Abstracting from Nature from John Constable to Rachel Whiteread, March–July 2013; To be included in the forthcoming exhibition Edgar Degas: Classicism and Experimentation at the Staatliche Kunsthalle, Karlsruhe, November 2014 – February 2015. This magnificent, atmospheric pastel is one of only a handful of drawings from the series of Edgar Degas’s pastel landscapes of Normandy of 1869 to be signed and dated by the artist2. The fact that he did so, at a time in his career when he rarely signed or dated his works on paper, would suggest that the artist regarded at least some of these pastels – including the present sheet – as finished works, to be sold, exhibited, or given away as gifts. (Notwithstanding this, however, all but one or two of the 1869 pastel landscapes remained in the artist’s studio for the rest of his life, and were only dispersed after his death.) Although it has been noted that topographical precision was not necessarily Degas’s intention when making these pastels, Richard Kendall has identified this drawing as a view taken from just southwest of Houlgate, looking across to the resort town of Cabourg in the distance3. The forty or so Normandy landscapes of 1869 represent Degas’s first consistent use of pastel, which by the 1880’s was to become his preferred medium. He seems to have found pastel to be an ideal means of capturing transient effects of light and atmosphere in a landscape, something he had not always been able to achieve before. As Kendall writes, ‘In the late 1850s, Degas had struggled with pencil, ink and watercolour to translate his perceptions into two-dimensional imagery, adding vividly written summaries of changing light and weather conditions. Now, he could use the medium of pastel, combining the effects of colour, line and tone in a single process that almost kept pace with his perceptions. With pastel, he could scatter powdery hues across the paper to indicate coffee-coloured sand or silvery-green sea…With pastel, too, he could respond to the finest nuances of the atmosphere, working rapidly as wind and weather began to change.’4 In works such as this and the previous sheet, Degas applied the pastel lightly over the warm tones of the pale brown paper, which he left to show through in places, adding to the atmospheric qualities of the scene. Like most of the 1869 pastels, however, there is little of the picturesque or anecdotal in this view. Indeed, in more than half of this group of pastels, there are no recognizable topographical features at all. The emptiness of these scenes is perhaps their most distinctive feature, and underlines their unique


place in Degas’s oeuvre up to that point. It has been suggested that the artist, for whom these were his first experiments in the medium of pastel, may have preferred to work in isolation, away from the crowded resort towns of Dives-sur-Mer, Cabourg, Houlgate and Villers-sur-Mer nearby. Nevertheless, pure landscapes remain rare in Degas’s oeuvre as a draughtsman, and the subject seems to have really been a feature of his work only for brief periods in the late 1860’s, when these Normandy pastels were drawn, and the early 1890’s, when he produced a group of pastels over monotype bases. At the fourth vente Degas of July 1919, at which all of the 1869 pastel landscapes were sold, each fetched very high prices that were often several times the estimates. As the expert Joseph Durand-Ruel noted in a letter written the day after the auction, ‘We had the greatest success with the small pastels of landscapes, which we had appraised at around 1,000 francs each because of the current overpricing of Degas’s works and which, to our great surprise, sold for between 3,000 and 20,000 francs. These prices are sheer folly.’5 This pastel landscape was one of several works acquired at the ventes Degas by the Parisian amateur Charles Comiot. Apart from the present sheet, Comiot owned at least five other pastel landscapes by Degas from the series done in 1869. In an article on the Comiot collection, published in 1927, the art critic François Fosca devoted considerable attention to this group. As he wrote of the landscape pastels in the collection, ‘They are numerous, because M. Comiot was able to recognize that in this field Degas was no less a master than in the representation of the human body…most were executed by the seashore, and show us flat, deserted beaches, dunes with grasses grey and sparse. From such bare sites, so much lacking in plastic elements, Degas brings forth wonders: isn’t that the mark of a great artist?’6 Fosca added that ‘These pastels are quite a bit closer to those of Whistler. Just as the painter of the Nocturnes, Degas withdrew from nature as soon as the sun appeared at its brightest. An ochre-tinted beach and the stifling blue of the sky when the mist covers the sun; Degas, like Whistler, asked for nothing else.’7 Aptly described by Theodore Reff as a ‘wonderfully atmospheric, moody landscape’8, the present sheet later entered the collection of the French painter Gustave Loiseau (1865-1935), and remained in the possession of his heirs until the 1970’s. This group of small pastel landscapes from the summer and autumn of 1869, characterized by a sense of emptiness and an absence of human figures, were never exhibited in Degas’s lifetime and remained in his studio until his death. Even today, they remain relatively obscure within the context of the artist’s oeuvre. The fact that a few of these pastel landscapes are both signed and dated would suggest that the artist may well have regarded them – despite their relatively small proportions and austere compositions – as finished, independent works. As Richard Kendall has noted, ‘Never exhibited as a group and still generally unknown, these pastels can be counted among the seminal achievements of [Degas’s] preImpressionist years.’9


9 EVA GONZALÈS Paris 1847-1883 Paris La Mariée Pastel on canvas. Stamped with the atelier stamp Eva Gonzalès (not in Lugt) in black ink at the lower left. Numbered 15 on a small label pasted onto the frame backing board. 462 x 382 mm. (18 1/4 x 15 in.) PROVENANCE: Among the contents of the artist’s studio at the time of her death in 1883; By descent to the artist’s sister, Jeanne Gonzalès (later Jeanne Guérard-Gonzalès), Paris; By descent to the artist’s son, Jean-Raymond Guérard, Paris, by 1924; Edgardo Acosta Gallery, Beverly Hills, Los Angeles; Private collection, Seattle, Washington. LITERATURE: Octave Mirbeau, ‘Notes sur l’art: Eva Gonzalès’, La France, 17 January 1885, p.2; Robert Henard, ‘Les Expositions’, La Renaissance, 4 April 1914, p.25; Louis Hautecoeur, ‘Exposition Eva Gonzalès (Galerie Bernheim-Jeune)’, La Chronique des Arts et de la Curiosité, 11 April 1914, p.115; Louis Dimier, ‘Chronique des arts’, L’Action française, 12 April 1914, p.4; François Monod, ‘L’Impressionnisme féminin. Deux élèves de Manet: Berthe Morisot (1841-1895), Eva Gonzalès (18491883)’, Art et Décoration, May 1914, p.3; Claude Roger-Marx, Eva Gonzalès, Saint-Germain-en-Laye, 1950, unpaginated (p.20); Marie-Caroline Sainsaulieu and Jacques de Mons, Eva Gonzalès 1849-1883: Etude critique et catalogue raisonné, Paris, 1990, pp.212-213, no.96 (as location unknown); Belinda Thomson, ‘Eva Gonzalès 1849-1883: Etude critique et catalogue raisonné’ [book review], The Burlington Magazine, September 1992, p.605; Carol Jane Grant, Eva Gonzalès (1849-1883): An examination of the artist’s style and subject matter, unpublished Ph.D thesis, Ohio State University, 1994, p.296, illustrated p.495, pl.CLXVIII (as location unknown); Rachel Holm, The Life and Work of Eva Gonzalès, unpublished MA thesis, Courtauld Institute of Art, 2006-2007, p.24; Brigid Mangano, ‘The Problem of the Woman Artist: How Eva Gonzalès was “Seen” in Late Nineteenth-Century France’, Through Gendered Lenses: An Undergraduate Academic Journal of Gender Research & Scholarship, 2011, pp.37-38, fig.7; Christopher Lloyd, Impressionism: Pastels, Watercolors, Drawings, exhibition catalogue, Milwaukee, 2011, illustrated in colour p.106, pl.47. EXHIBITED: Paris, Salons de La Vie Moderne, Eva Gonzalès, 1885, no.80 (‘Une Mariée (pastel)’); Paris, Bernheim-Jeune & Cie., Exposition Éva Gonzalès, 1914, no.18 (‘La mariée’) or no.20 (‘Mariée’); Paris, Galerie Marcel Bernheim, Éva Gonzalès, 1932, no.20 (‘La Mariée (I)’) or no.22 (‘La Mariée (II)’); Milwaukee, Milwaukee Art Museum, Impressionism: Masterworks on Paper, 2011-2012. Born into a cultivated Parisian family, Eva Gonzalès received her early artistic training in the studio of the society portrait painter Charles Chaplin, from whom she learned the art of pastel. In 1869, at the age of twenty-two, she was taken on as a pupil by Edouard Manet. She was, in fact, to be his only formal student, and also posed for a number of paintings and drawings by him. Although her early work reveals the distinct influence of Manet, as her independent career progressed she developed a more personal, intimate style of painting. Gonzalès achieved her earliest success at the Salon of 1870, where she exhibited two paintings and a pastel; these earned approving notices from the influential critics Philippe Burty, Jules Castagnary, Zacharie Astruc and Edmond Duranty, and one of her paintings was purchased by the State. (At the same Salon of 1870, Manet exhibited his full-length portrait of Gonzalès, today in the National Gallery in London.) As one modern scholar has noted, ‘Her talents, especially in pastel technique, attracted the attention of critics right from the start, and like [Berthe] Morisot, she was often compared with Rosalba Carriera.’1 Further critical success accompanied the two works – a painting and a pastel – she exhibited at the Salon of 1872. The following year, however, her submitted painting was rejected by the Salon jury and was instead exhibited at the Salon des Refusés, in the catalogue of which she described herself as a pupil of both Chaplin and Manet.


Producing mainly portraits, still life subjects and contemporary genre scenes, Eva Gonzalès (fig.1) continued to show her work at the annual Salons, albeit not every year, throughout her relatively brief career. However, although she was invited, like Manet she never took part in any of the seven Impressionist exhibitions. Nevertheless, she is generally considered to be a member of the movement by virtue of her painting style, and deservedly takes her place alongside Berthe Morisot and Mary Cassatt in any account of women Impressionists. Her work continued to attract favourable comments from writers and critics, including Emile Zola and Jules Claretie; the latter noted in 1874 that she was ‘an artist of rare talent, who takes the brush after having handled pastel like Rosalba.’2 In January 1879 Gonzalès married the printmaker Henri Guérard, a friend and collaborator of Manet. Apart from being shown at the Salons, her work was also included in a handful of gallery exhibitions in Paris, notably at the Galerie Georges Petit in 1883. Gonzalès died of an embolism in May 1883 at the age of thirty-six, less than three weeks after the birth of her son Jean-Raymond, and six days after the death of her master Manet. In 1885 a large retrospective exhibition of her work, organized by her father and her husband, was held at the offices of the magazine La Vie Moderne in Paris. This was, in fact, her first solo exhibition, and included eighty-eight paintings and drawings, among them the present pastel. Pastels make up a substantial portion of Eva Gonzalès’s oeuvre, and indeed accounted for nearly a quarter of the works shown in the posthumous exhibition of 1885. The artist worked concurrently in oil and pastel throughout her career, and showed her first pastel at the Salon of 1870, eventually exhibiting a total of nine works in this medium at the Salons. As the French critic Octave Mirbeau wrote of Gonzalès’s works in pastel, at the time of an exhibition of her work at the Galerie Bernheim-Jeune in Paris in 1914, ‘It is simplicity, it is sincerity, it is serenity. Absolutely no feminine over-sentimentality, nor a desire to simply make pretty or nice, and yet what an exquisite charm.’3 Eighteen years later, another critic praised Gonzalès’s ‘marvellous pastels, drawn in the manner of the worthy Chardin, with subtle daring, broken, delicate colours, which blend in sweet harmony...with a virile draughstmanship.’4 Previously known only from old photographs and only recently rediscovered, the present pastel is a portrait of Jeanne Gonzalès, the artist’s younger sister and favourite model, and an artist in her own right. This portrait may be dated to 1879, shortly after Eva Gonzalès’s marriage to Henri Guérard. The artist

1.

2.


often portrayed her sister in various guises, and she has here chosen to depict her dressed in Eva’s own satin wedding dress. (Jeanne was, in fact, to marry Eva’s widowed husband a few years after her sister’s death. As Belinda Thomson has noted of the present pastel, ‘Jeanne went so far as to don the artist’s bridal dress when she posed for a pastel head, La mariée...a strangely prophetic act given that nine years on, she in turn would marry the same Henri Guérard following Eva’s premature death in childbirth.’5) Eva Gonzalès painted a second pastel portrait of Jeanne wearing the same wedding dress, posed in profile to the right (fig.2), which is today in a private collection6. These two pastel portraits, both entitled La Mariée (The Bride), were exhibited together as pendants several times in later years. Octave Mirbeau appears to have been one of the first to mention this particular work in print. Writing on the occasion of the posthumous retrospective exhibition of Gonzalès’s work at the Salons de La Vie Moderne in January 1885, he noted in particular the two La Mariée pastels: ‘I love the two studies of brides, which have a freshness and a tender spirit, delicious to see. I find there, in the softness of the shades, in the play of the light on the white fabric and the transparent cloud of veils, a particular caress.’7 Jeanne Gonzalès seems to have posed for her sister almost daily, and more than twenty works by Eva – around a third of her surviving oeuvre – may be identified either as portraits of Jeanne8, or have her as their model9. As one modern scholar has noted, ‘Eva chronicled her sister’s life, creating an intimate biography in paint and pastel.’10 The artist’s preoccupation with using her sister as a model is all the more telling as she herself seems never to have produced a formal painted or drawn self-portrait. As the 19th century art historian and critic Claude Roger-Marx perceptively noted of the present pastel, ‘This is her dress of white satin, her bridal coiffure, which she will, on two occasions, make Jeanne wear. It is as if she has observed and imagined herself through this duplicate of herself that she loved, bullied, transformed as she pleased, so as to create twenty different sisters...’11 Both La Mariée pastels were again singled out for praise in several reviews of the exhibition of Eva Gonzalès’s work held at the Galerie Bernheim-Jeune in Paris in 1914. Writing in La Chronique des Arts, the critic Louis Hautecoeur noted of the artist that, ‘She achieves a true mastery of pastel: her Bridesmaids or her Brides prove it: she works with hatched strokes that confine light and shade within the continuity of their lines; she likes the subtle shades, the nuances of pale, but colourful, grays, these scenes of quiet intimacy, and some of these pastels are excellent works.’12 Another review of the exhibition, in the magazine Art et Décoration, noted in particular the ‘small pastel portraits of women (Woman with a Red Hat, The Bride, The Bridesmaid, The Bunch of Violets)...all charming in their candour, with a very personal focus and, without seeming to be, of astonishing virtuosity in the brevity and the uniform economy of their execution.’13 Executed in 1879, this splendid pastel portrait remained in Gonzalès’s studio until her death, and was included in the posthumous exhibition of her work in 1885. The painting passed to her sister Jeanne Gonzalès, the model for the present work, and is listed (as ‘La Mariée, pastel par Eva Gonzalès’) in an inventory compiled by Henri Guérard on 25 May 1897. The pastel was later recorded in the possession of the artist’s son, Jean-Raymond Guérard, in 1924, and was included in an exhibition of Eva Gonzalès’s work in a Parisian gallery in 1932. After that, however, this pastel portrait was lost until its recent discovery in an American private collection. Its reappearance confirms its status as one of the finest examples of the relatively small corpus of pastels produced during the brief career of Eva Gonzalès, as well as among the most intimate and personal of all her works.


10 CAMILLE PISSARRO Charlotte Amalie (St. Thomas) 1830-1903 Paris Portrait of Ludovic Piette Pastel. Signed C. Pissarro in blue chalk at the upper right. 436 x 298 mm. (17 1/ 8 x 11 3/4 in.) [sight] PROVENANCE: Gabriel Picard, Paris, in 1939; Anonymous sale, London, Sotheby’s, 1 July 1987, lot 423; Anonymous sale, Berlin, Villa Grisebach, 1 June 1990; Anonymous sale, London, Christie’s, 9 December 1999, lot 522; Private collection, London. LITERATURE: Ludovic-Rodo Pissarro and Lionello Venturi, Camille Pissarro, son art – son oeuvre, Paris, 1939, Vol.I, p.291, no.1524, Vol.II, pl.293, no.1524; Alexia de Buffévent, ‘A Painter and his Age: Biography and Critical Reception’, in Joachim Pissarro and Claire Durand-Ruel Snollaerts, Pissarro: Critical Catalogue of Paintings, Milan, 2005, Vol.I, illustrated p.146; Joachim Pissarro and Claire Durand-Ruel Snollaerts, Pissarro: Catalogue critique des peintures / Critical Catalogue of Paintings, Milan, 2005, Vol.II, pp.68-69, under no.51, illustrated. Born on the island of St. Thomas in the Danish West Indies and raised in Paris, Camille Pissarro was essentially self-taught as an artist, with little formal training. In 1859 he enrolled at the Académie Suisse, where he met Paul Cézanne, Armand Guillaumin and Claude Monet. He exhibited at the Paris Salons throughout the 1860’s, although his paintings received little critical or public attention and he sold very few. By 1866 he had settled in the town of Pontoise, where he was to work – apart from a brief stay in London during the Franco-Prussian war – until 1884, when he moved to Éragny-sur-Epte. The only artist to participate in all eight Impressionist exhibitions, Pissarro nevertheless remained somewhat less well known than many of his fellow painters. Indeed, as he wrote in a letter of 1895, ‘Like Sisley, I remain in the rear of Impressionism’. Along with Edgar Degas, Pissarro was the most prolific draughtsman among the Impressionists, with a surviving corpus of drawings far greater than those of Manet, Renoir, Monet or Cézanne. He worked in pencil, watercolour, charcoal, pen and ink, gouache and pastel, as well as in etching and lithography. Pissarro seems to have drawn much more in the last two decades of his career than he had before; indeed almost three–quarters of the artist’s extant drawings may be dated to the 1880’s and 1890’s. Particularly noticeable in his drawings of the end of the 1870’s and in the early 1880’s is an increased interest in studies of the human figure. Despite the artist’s penchant for drawing, however, pastels occur only infrequently in Pissarro’s drawn oeuvre. Indeed, as has been noted, ‘Surprisingly, Pissarro only turned to pastel spasmodically, perhaps with the encouragement of Degas, and his corpus contains relatively few drawings made in that medium alone.’1 Nevertheless, he was a gifted pastellist, using the delicate medium for landscapes, figure scenes and, occasionally, intimate portraits of family members and friends, such as the present sheet. As Christopher Lloyd has noted of drawings by the Impressionists, ‘Portraits dating from the 1870s evoke comparison with works by such eighteenth-century masters as Quentin de la Tour, Chardin, Liotard in their preference for pastel. The smoothly modelled surfaces of the earlier pastellists were, however, not emulated, and portraits by the Impressionists in this medium are notable for the uneven balance between the traditional half or three-quarters length poses and the freedom with which the medium is handled…Pissarro…uses pastel in a way that is more closely related to Impressionist painting.’2


The amateur painter Ludovic Piette (1826-1878) was one of Pissarro’s closest friends, and a lifelong and generous supporter of his work. The two artists met around 1860 and maintained a strong attachment to each other, as well as a frequent correspondence, throughout Piette’s life. Although Piette (fig.1) was not a gifted artist (‘A quiet, somewhat withdrawn man, he lacked the talent, creativity and daring of his friend Pissarro. Conscious of this, he always stood diffidently in the latter’s shadow.’3) Piette’s family owned a large country estate at Montfoucault, near Mayenne in northwestern France, to which Pissarro and his family were often invited. Pissarro was able to stay at Montfoucault when times were hard in the 1870’s, and for several years Piette’s estate became a sort of retreat for the artist and his family. Pissarro made a total of six long visits to Montfoucault between 1864 and 1878, with each trip resulting in numerous paintings. Indeed, it was at Montfoucault in the fall of 1874 that the artist began to paint scenes of peasant and rural life, as well as landscapes. A generous and loyal friend, Ludovic Piette (fig.1) remained an important figure in Pissarro’s life and career throughout much of the 1870’s. Although he was by no means as talented a painter, ‘Piette’s work as an artist has some importance when viewed in conjunction with Pissarro’s oeuvre. The latter made no fewer than fifty paintings during his stays at Montfoucault, and on each of his sojourns Piette’s own work gained from the experience, advice, and encouragement of the master who was his closest friend.’4 At the invitation of Pissarro, Piette took part in the third Impressionist exhibition in 1877. His work was shown again, following his death from cancer, at the fourth Impressionist exhibition two years later. This splendid and lively pastel portrait of Ludovic Piette may be dated to around 1874. That year found Pissarro devoting considerable time to working in pastel, both for landscapes and, more rarely, portraits. As Lionello Venturi has commented, ‘Several very beautiful pastels can be dated circa around 1874. They are notable for their freshness of inspiration, their lightness of touch and the imaginative quality of their technique.’5 Among a handful of stylistically comparable pastel portraits by Pissarro of the same date is a portrait of the artist’s sister-in-law, Félicie Vellay Estruc, sold at auction in 2005 and today in a private collection6, and a similar pastel portrait of his brother-in-law, Louis Estruc, which appeared at auction in 20027. In 1861, several years before executing this pastel, Pissarro had painted another portrait of Ludovic Piette, seated at an easel in his studio, which is today in a private collection8. Piette’s own painting of Pissarro working at an easel in a garden is in another private collection9.

1.


11 BERTHE MORISOT Bourges 1841-1895 Paris L’Anglaise Pastel. Stamped with the Morisot studio stamp (Lugt 1826) at the lower right. 530 x 380 mm. (20 7/ 8 x 15 in.) PROVENANCE: The studio of the artist, Paris; The artist’s daughter, Julie Manet Rouart; Thence by descent in the Rouart family; Jacques Watelin, Paris, in 1933; Anonymous sale, Paris, Galerie Charpentier, 30 March 1954, lot 41 (‘Jeune femme en buste’); Private collection, and thence by descent. LITERATURE: Monique Angoulvent, Berthe Morisot, Paris, n.d. (1933), p.126, no.18, where dated 1884; Marie-Louise Bataille and Georges Wildenstein, Berthe Morisot: Catalogue des peintures, pastels et aquarelles, Paris, 1961, p.54, no.474, fig.461 (‘L’Anglaise’), where dated 1884. EXHIBITED: Paris, Galerie Durand-Ruel, Berthe Morisot (Madame Eugène Manet): Exposition de son oeuvre, March 1896, no.187 (‘L’Anglaise’). Together with her older sister Edma, Berthe Morisot was trained as an artist by the Lyonnais painter Joseph-Benoît Guichard and, later, studied with Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot. In 1864 she had two paintings accepted by the Salon, and she continued to send paintings to the Paris Salon over the next few years. In 1868 she was introduced to Édouard Manet, who asked her to pose for his paintings The Balcony and Repose, and the Manet and Morisot families became friendly. Berthe became one of Manet’s favourite models, and he painted her portrait ten times between 1868 and 1874. Against Manet’s advice, however, Morisot chose to participate in the first Impressionist exhibition in 1874. Later that year she married Manet’s brother Eugène, who was also a painter. Their daughter Julie was born four years later, and soon became her mother’s favourite model. Choosing to abandon the Salon, Morisot continued to exhibit her work with the Impressionists, eventually taking part in all but one of the eight Impressionist exhibitions that were held between 1874 and 1886. Her paintings of this period are characterized by the free and sketchy handling of paint, ‘as though the brush, jabbing at the canvas, left dabs of pigment behind, irregular disjointed, corresponding only to the play of colored light as it struck her dazzled eyesight.’1 Morisot adopted the freedom of handling characteristic of Impressionist landscape paintings, but applied it to figure paintings, portraits and domestic subjects. It was this fluidity of brushwork and sensitivity of colour in her work that struck most observers. In a review of the second Impressionist exhibition, held in 1876 at the Galerie Durand Ruel on the rue le Peletier in Paris, the critic Paul Mantz wrote: ‘The truth is that there is only one Impressionist in the group at rue le Peletier: it is Berthe Morisot. She has already been acclaimed and should continue to be so. She will never finish a painting, a pastel, a watercolor; she produces prefaces for books that she will never write, but when she plays with a range of light tones, she finds grays of an extreme finesse and pinks of the most delicate pallor.’2 Morisot had her first solo exhibition at the Galerie Boussod et Valadon in 1892, showing forty paintings as well as a number of drawings, pastels and watercolours. By this time her paintings had developed a softer, almost vaporous quality, with long, sinuous brushstrokes replacing the short, rapid brushwork of her earlier work. In 1894, at the instigation of the artist’s close friend, the poet Stéphane Mallarmé, one of her paintings was acquired by the State for the Musée de Luxembourg. The following year Morisot died of pneumonia, at the age of just fifty-four. A posthumous retrospective exhibition of her work – numbering nearly four hundred works in all media and organized by Edgar Degas, Mallarmé, Claude Monet and Pierre-Auguste Renoir, together with the artist’s young daughter Julie Manet – was held at the Galerie Durand-Ruel in Paris in 1896.


Drawings were an important part of Berthe Morisot’s artistic process, and she often chose to display her works on paper alongside her paintings. As Marianne Mathieu has written of the artist, ‘Throughout her short life, she took care to ensure that her drawings featured prominently in her exhibitions, as if to stress their importance in her work and her passion for graphic art...It is interesting to note that she was the only Impressionist to exhibit, at each edition, not only oil paintings but also watercolours, pastels and sometimes even drawings. Works on canvas and paper were shown together and championed with the same conviction.’3 Morisot’s vibrant watercolours established her as a superb colourist, while her work in pastel was integral to the development of many of her figure paintings. Her drawings were acquired by a small group of enlightened collectors and connoisseurs, including Degas (who once proclaimed ‘[Morisot’s] drawings are superb, I value them just as highly as [her] paintings’4) and the Impressionist patron Ernest Hoschédé, as well as the critics and art historians Arsène Houssaye, Étienne Moreau-Nélaton, Ernest Chesneau and Charles Ephrussi. Morisot began using pastel regularly around 1871, and the medium soon became a favourite of hers. (Her fondness for pastel may have been encouraged by meeting the artist Léon Riesener, who worked frequently in the medium. The Morisot family rented a home from Riesener in 1864, around the same time that Morisot produced her first pastel landscapes.) Like the other great woman painter among of the Impressionists, Mary Cassatt, Morisot produced a large body of pastels. In April 1877, the critic Philippe Burty could already note of the artist that, ‘She uses pastel with the freedom and charm that Rosalba Carriera first brought to the medium in the eighteenth century...Here is a delicate colorist who succeeds in making everything cohere into an overall harmony of shades of white which it is difficult to orchestrate without lapsing into sentimentality.’5 As in her watercolours, Morisot often left large areas of blank paper in and around the strokes of pastel, creating a spontaneous, informal effect that was particularly effective in her portraits. Slightly less than two hundred pastels by Berthe Morisot – mainly portraits, landscapes and still life subjects – are known, which, along with the slightly more numerous watercolours, account for more than half of her total oeuvre. Datable to 1884, this charming portrait displays Morisot’s characteristic use of vibrant but delicate strokes of pastel, a medium seen to its best advantage in her portraits of women and young girls. As the Morisot scholar Jean-Dominique Rey has commented, ‘A painter of women, and a woman herself, Berthe Morisot imbued her female models with all the charm, all the sensuality, all the tender lightness of being that characterize her own vision, communicated through her work.’6 Certainly, many of Morisot’s contemporaries found works such as this of considerable appeal. As Philippe Burty, writing in 1882, pronounced, ‘Her paintings and her pastels have lost none of their feminine charm. She is, in the delicate sense of the term, Impressionism par excellence.’7 It is in such works as L’Anglaise that, as Rey has noted, ‘Morisot shows a marvellous mastery of the pastel technique, using it to create new effects that were to enrich her painting...The links between the three techniques – watercolor, pastel and oil paint – provide the starting point for a whole series of explorations, comparisons, discoveries, inventions, and innovations found in the work of no other contemporary artist but Degas.’8 Among stylistically comparable pastels by Morisot is a Portrait of Isabelle Lambert of 1885, today in the Robert and Lisa Sainsbury Collection at the University of East Anglia in Norwich9. At Berthe Morisot’s death, the contents of her studio were not dispersed at auction but were instead retained by her family, who added a stamped signature to any unsigned works. This pastel was included in the large retrospective exhibition of 380 paintings, pastels, watercolours and drawings by Morisot at the Galerie Durand-Ruel in 1896, the year after the artist’s death.


12 ARMAND POINT Algiers 1861-1932 Naples Âme d’Automne (Autumn Soul) Pastel on brown paper. Signed APoint in blue chalk at the lower right. 483 x 645 mm. (19 x 25 3/ 8 in.) PROVENANCE: M. de Saverny, in 1893. LITERATURE: Robert Doré, Armand Point et son oeuvre (1861-1932), unpublished thesis, Université de Paris I, 2007, Vol.II, pp.202 and 204; Robert Doré, Armand Point: De l’orientalisme au symbolisme, 2010, pp.43 and 125, illustrated in colour pp.48-49, fig.40; Etienne Breton and Pascal Zuber, Pastels, exhibition catalogue, Paris and London, 2011, unpaginated, no.12, and illustrated as frontispiece. EXHIBITED: Paris, Champ de Mars, Salon de la Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts, May 1893, no.1349 (lent by M. de Saverny). Born in Algeria to a French father and Spanish mother, Armand Point arrived in Paris in 1870 at the age of nine as an orphan. He won several prizes for drawing at school, and in 1879 returned to Algiers, where he began painting Orientalist subjects. One of his works was accepted at the Paris Salon of 1882, the first of a number of Orientalist paintings he sent to the Salons over the next few years. Returning to Paris, Point had his first one-man exhibition at the Galerie Georges Petit in 1889, showing paintings influenced by the art of the English Pre-Raphaelites and the symbolism of the Middle Ages. In 1891 Point settled in Marlotte, in the forest of Fontainebleau to the south of Paris, in a large house and studio where he was to work for almost forty years. In 1893 he exhibited a number of pastel drawings, including the present large sheet, at the Societé Nationale des Beaux-Arts, to considerable critical acclaim. He also participated in the Salons organized by Joséphin (‘Sâr’) Péladan’s Rose + Croix movement between 1892 and 1896, where he often exhibited drawings. Writing in 1893, Péladan, a novelist and art critic, claimed that ‘Point is one of the great prospects of contemporary art; on the sexual front, in the depiction of women, I know no one else who is as intensely skilled.’1 Following a trip to Italy in 1894, and exposure to the works of Sandro Botticelli and other Renaissance masters, Point changed his style radically. (In the opinion of the American Symbolist poet Stuart Merrill, writing on the occasion of an exhibition of Point’s work at the Galerie Georges Petit in 1899, the artist’s trip to Italy ‘showed him the vanity of modern art, and the futility of his own efforts.’2) After his Italian sojourn, Point’s paintings attempted to reconstruct the techniques and palettes of the Italian painters of the 15th century, taking the work of such artists as Botticelli and Leonardo da Vinci as exemplars. Inspired by the precepts of William Morris, in 1896 Point established a crafts studio in Marlotte. Entitled HauteClaire, the atelier employed artists and craftsmen of many different nationalities, and produced jewelry, glass, pottery and other objects, many after Point’s own designs, until it was closed in 1916. This beautiful pastel portrait was exhibited by Point, with the title Âme d’Automne, at the Salon of the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts on the Champ de Mars in Paris in 1893. A contemporary photograph of the exhibition (fig.1) shows the present work hanging alongside nine other highly finished pastel paintings of young women by the artist. The photograph, by G. Michelez, shows this large pastel exhibited with a label noting that it had earned the artist a prize, a bourse de voyage awarded by the government. (It was this travel grant that allowed Point to visit Italy the following year.) All of the works shown by Point at the Salon de la Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts of 1893 were much admired by critics, and two of the pastels were purchased by the State. An oil painting of the same title, Âme d’Automne, but of a different composition, was exhibited by Point at the Salon the following year, 1894.


As the writer and art critic Camille Mauclair noted of such works as this by Point, ‘an exquisite and captivating series of pastels of women were shown at the Salon du Champ de Mars and at the Rose-Croix. Executed with a lightness of touch, soft, effortless, ethereal, these languid women with wistful or melancholic expressions are portrayed in faded floral settings that heighten the dreamlike atmosphere...These mysterious and touching figures emerge out of a poet’s spirit and beckon to us through the picture frame. The artist is no longer concerned by academic technique and there is an ease in his style. This highly skilled pastellist envelops his figures in a dreamlike atmosphere with subtle tones of grey, pink, gold and purple, and harmonious contrasts of light and dark. The poetic intention dominates everything in the work of this sentimental artist who has the audacity not to resemble anyone, being neither an impressionist, a classicist, a realist, a follower of Whistler or anything classifiable. His success is sudden and complete.’3 The model for this pastel portrait was, in all likelihood, Point’s companion and muse, Hélène Linder (1867-1955), who met the artist around 1886. Linder posed for several of his finest paintings, drawings, pastels and prints of the 1890’s. Hélène Linder and Point lived together at Marlotte for nearly eight years, a time in which, as the Point scholar Robert Doré has pointed out, were produced some of ‘the artist’s finest works [in] the most brilliantly creative period in his career. These works are a testament to the deep tenderness that unified them, and the enthusiasm they shared in Marlotte.’4 Point and Linder remained together until 1899, when Hélène met and eventually married the diplomat Philippe Berthelot. The present sheet is typical of Point’s work in 1892 and 1893, when he painted several oils and pastels of women, with a particular focus on the torsos and faces of his models. This can be seen in the works he exhibited in 1893 at both the Salon de la Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts and the Salon de la Rose + Croix. During this period his colours, while often muted in tonality, always retained the freshness of the pastel medium. Among comparable works of the same date are a pair of large and highly finished pastel portraits of Hélène Linder in an interior, which were formerly in the collection of Jules Ricome and appeared at auction in 1990 and 19916. Datable to 1892 or the early part of 1893, this large and beautifully preserved pastel portrait is one of the finest works of Armand Point’s early maturity, and splendidly displays the artist’s talents as a draughtsman. Long held in private collections, it has remained largely unknown to scholars since it was exhibited at the Salon de la Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts in Paris in 1893.

1. G. Michelez. Photograph of works by Point shown at the Salon of the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts, Paris. May 1893.


13 ÉDOUARD VUILLARD Cuiseaux 1868-1940 La Baule A Parisian Street at Night Pastel on paper, laid down on board. Signed E Vuillard in black chalk at the lower right. 308 x 310 mm. (12 1/ 8 x 12 1/4 in.) PROVENANCE: Bought from the artist by the Comte and Comtesse Jean de Polignac, Paris and Neuillysur-Seine; Acquired from them in exchange by the Galerie Bernheim-Jeune, Paris, in January 1928; Sold to Ernest, Brown & Phillips (The Leicester Galleries), London, in June 1929 for 16,000 FF; Comte and Comtesse André de Limur, Washington, D.C., by c.1930; By descent to the Comte and Comtesse Charles de Limur, San Francisco, by c.1972; Thence by descent. LITERATURE: Antoine Salomon and Guy Cogeval, Vuillard: The Inexhaustible Glance. Critical Catalogue of Paintings and Pastels, Milan, 2003, Vol.I, p.422, no.V-87, where dated c.1895. EXHIBITED: Andover, MA, Addison Gallery of American Art, Alumni Treasures: Phillips Academy, 1967, no.246; San Francisco, California Palace of the Legion of Honor, Edouard Vuillard 1868-1940, 1971-1972. Early in his career, Édouard Vuillard joined a group of young artists – including Maurice Denis, Paul Sérusier, Pierre Bonnard and Ker-Xavier Roussel – who called themselves the Nabis and were united by a desire to develop a new, more expressive pictorial language, inspired by the work of Paul Gauguin. In the 1890’s, Vuillard began receiving commissions for wall panels intended to decorate the rooms of private houses. This was a genre in which he was to become very successful, and between 1892 and 1901 he painted several of these large panneaux décoratifs, almost all the result of commissions from a small group of mutual friends and enlightened collectors. In the early years of the new century, enjoying the fruits of a commercial arrangement with the Galerie Bernheim-Jeune, Vuillard began expanding his repertoire of decorative panels and small, intimiste domestic interiors to include portraits and landscapes. Although his work as a peintre-décorateur was largely confined to private homes, he did receive a handful of public commissions, including the decoration of the foyer of the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées in 1912. The latter part of his career found Vuillard working mainly as a portrait painter. As Guy Cogeval has written, ‘Like most artists born in the provinces, Vuillard was a confirmed lover of Paris...His discovery of new realities, the broadening of his wide culture, his ever-alert intellectual curiosity – all were bound up with his growing love of strolling through the city...His continual walks through Paris, his almost metronomically obsessive observation of the slightest detail that “shimmered” in his mind, opened up many perspectives.’1 This atmospheric pastel of a Parisian street scene at evening is typical of the artist’s abiding interest in the fabric of the city. Night scenes are relatively rare in Vuillard’s oeuvre, however, and this pastel may be grouped with a handful of similar oil sketches of urban nocturnes, which can be dated between 1895 and 1897. Particularly close in mood and effect is an oil sketch of a Night Scene in a private collection in France2, while also comparable are a painting of The Place du Palais-Royal at Night in an American private collection3 and a sketch of The Place de Clichy in the Fondation Bemberg in Toulouse4. As has been noted, with reference to a similar nighttime scene, ‘Vuillard manages to conjure up, on a tiny surface a captivating nocturne. His relationship to the night is nothing if not tractable; his walks through Paris at night, alone or with friends, were crucial to him throughout his life.’5 This pastel nocturne was acquired from the artist by the Comte and Comtesse Jean de Polignac. As the Comtesse Marie-Blanche de Polignac was later to recall, ‘We had bought, for ourselves, a small Vuillard pastel depicting a Paris street scene at night. We foolishly exchanged it for a larger but less delicate canvas: Young Girl in White, Rue de la Tour.’6


14 WILLIAM DEGOUVE DE NUNCQUES Monthermé 1867-1935 Stavelot Twilight in Munster (Crépuscule à Münster) Pastel on paper laid down on board. Signed with initials and dated W D / de / N 96 in black chalk at the lower right. 410 x 1000 mm. (16 1/ 8 x 39 3/ 8 in.) PROVENANCE: The studio of the artist; Acquired from his widow, Suzanne Poulet, by a private collector; Private collection, until 1990; Anonymous sale, London, Christie’s, 16 October 1990, lot 17; Private collection, London. EXHBITED: Schaerbeek, Musée Communal, Rétrospective W. Degouve de Nuncques, April-May 1954, no.61. Born into an old aristocratic family in the French Ardennes, William Degouve de Nuncques was raised, and spent much of his life, in Belgium, where his parents emigrated in 1874. Although he studied briefly at the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, he was for the most part self-taught. (As he later recalled, ‘I started to draw and paint, subsisting entirely on the attractions of country life, without master, advice, or influence, giving priority to my instincts, to the pleasure of deliberately living alone.’) Profoundly influenced by the artists of the Belgian Symbolist movement, Degouve shared a studio with Jan Toorop and, later, Henry de Groux, who became a lifelong friend. He was also inspired by Symbolist writings, through the work of his wife’s brother-in-law, Emile Verhaeren. Degouve exhibited for the first time in 1890, at the Exposition Générale des Beaux-Arts in Brussels and, under the sponsorship of Auguste Rodin, at the Paris Salon. He also took part in exhibitions organized by the Belgian avant-garde group Les XX and its successor, La Libre Esthétique, between 1893 and 1908. He travelled extensively, visiting Austria, France, Germany, Italy and Switzerland, and between 1899 and 1902 he and his wife lived in Majorca in the Balearic Islands, where he painted scenes of the coastline and interior. The death of his first wife in 1919 plunged Degouve into a severe depression, and the later years of his career were much less productive. In 1928 he lost the use of one of his hands, and thereafter painted almost nothing until his death. Like many Symbolist artists, Degouve de Nuncques valued pastel for its evanescent, moody qualities. (As has been noted, ‘Pastel went on brilliantly to serve the bewitching intentions of Symbolism…Just as Impressionism used oils to show the influence of the sun on our lives, Symbolism uses pastel to show just how much the Moon guides our dreams.’1) Dated 1896, this large and tranquil pastel landscape belongs to a period in Degouve’s career, following his visit to Venice in 1895 and before his move to Majorca in 1899, when he painted mostly night scenes. Characteristic of these years is a preference for shades of dark blues and greens in pastels or oil paint, at times resulting in an almost monochromatic composition. The artist’s use of soft strokes of pastel to create an ethereal effect and a mysterious inner light is also typical of his work in the second half of the 1890’s, as seen in such pastel landscapes as The Forest of 1896, in a private collection2. Degouve’s penchant for twilight effects and night scenes, with indistinct and vague forms, echoes the Nocturnes painted in the 1870’s by James McNeill Whistler, whose work was exhibited in Belgium and had a profound effect on several artists there. Degouve’s landscape paintings and pastels, in which there is almost never any trace of a human presence, invariably evoke a mood of stillness and melancholy in keeping with a distinctly Symbolist aesthetic. As the artist once said, ‘In order to paint a picture, it is sufficient to take some colours, draw some lines, and fill the rest with emotion.’ Among comparable pastel landscapes of the same date by Degouve de Nuncques is a large Summer in Brabant in the Kröller-Müller Museum in Otterlo3 and an Effet de Nuit in the Musée d’Ixelles in Brussels4, both painted in 1896. Also similar in style is a large Twilight on Lake Como, drawn the following year5.


15 ALFRED SISLEY Paris 1839-1899 Moret-sur-Loing The Cliffs at Langland Bay, Wales Pastel. Signed and dated Sisley 97 in brown chalk at the lower left. 289 x 365 mm. (11 3/ 8 x 14 3/ 8 in.) PROVENANCE: The Lefevre Gallery, London; Anonymous sale (‘The Property of a Lady of Title’), London, Christie’s, 7 July 1961, lot 48 (as Lady’s Cove, Wales); Anonymous sale, London, Christie’s, 30 June 1987, lot 322; Tzwern-Aisinber Fine Arts, Brussels, in 1989; Anonymous sale, London, Sotheby’s, 28 June 1995, lot 124; Private collection, France. LITERATURE: ‘Books of the Day’, The Illustrated London News, January 16, 1937, p.107, illustrated (as Cliffs at Hastings); Brussels, Tzwern-Aisinber Fine Arts, Le Cercle des XX, exhibition catalogue, 1989, pp.262263, no.68, illustrated in colour p.110; Vivienne Couldrey, Alfred Sisley: The English Impressionist, Newton Abbot, 1992, illustrated p.65; Richard Shone, Sisley, London, 1992, p.193, pl.153; Nicholas Reed, Sisley on the Thames and the Welsh Coast, Folkestone, 2008, p.W24; ‘Bay leaves an impression’, South Wales Evening Post, 5 November 2011, illustrated; To be included in the forthcoming supplement to the Sisley catalogue raisonné by the late François Daulte and the Comité Alfred Sisley1. EXHIBITED: London, The Lefevre Gallery, Pissarro and Sisley, January 1937, no.29 (as Falaises à Hastings); London, The Lefevre Gallery, British and French Paintings, 1942, no.22; London, The Lefevre Gallery, XIX and XX Century French Paintings, March-April 1957, no.19 (as Hastings); Brussels, Tzwern-Aisinber Fine Arts, Le Cercle des XX, 1989, no.68. Born in Paris into an Anglo-French family, Alfred Sisley achieved relatively little commercial success and public recognition during his lifetime. Throughout his career his style remained true to the most basic Impressionist principles, without recourse to the technical or thematic development characteristic of the later work of such fellow artists as Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro and Pierre-Auguste Renoir. He also remained resolutely devoted to the practice of pure landscape painting, working en plein-air throughout his career. As Christopher Lloyd has noted, unlike Monet, Renoir and Pissarro in the 1880’s and 1890’s, Sisley ‘continued to explore the possibilities of the Impressionist style from within, retaining the same approach to nature and in this sense remaining a true Impressionist painter concerned with light, colour and atmosphere…it is this unswerving allegiance to Impressionism beyond the 1870’s that is the most distinctive feature of his work.’2 Sisley worked for much of his early career in towns and villages to the north and west of Paris, including Bougival, Louveciennes, Sèvres and Port-Marly, before eventually settling in the 1880’s at Moret-surLoing, well to the southeast of the city. Although not always appreciated by critics, Sisley was nevertheless much liked and admired by many of his fellow artists. As Pissarro wrote to his son Lucien in 1899, ‘Sisley…is a great and beautiful artist, in my opinion he is a master equal to the greatest. I have seen works of his of rare amplitude and beauty…’3 At Sisley’s funeral, the collector and critic Adolphe Tavernier gave an oration in which he praised the artist as ‘a painter exquisite and original among them all, a magician of light, a poet of the heavens, of the waters, of the trees – in a word, one of the most remarkable landscapists of this day.’4 Although some nine hundred paintings by Sisley are known, his oeuvre includes only a very few drawings, of which the handful of pastel landscapes – most of which are datable to the 1880’s and 1890’s – are the most significant. As Richard Shone has noted, ‘As a medium, pastel was new in Sisley’s work, but he took to it with mastery.’5 These works display the artist’s consummate mastery of the pastel medium, as can be seen in this magnificently fresh and vibrant coastal scene, drawn near the end of Sisley’s life.


In the summer of 1897, and possibly with the financial support of the Rouen collector François Depeaux, Sisley was able to spend four months travelling and working in Britain; this was to be his final visit to his ancestral country. After spending a brief time in London and the South of England, he visited South Wales, where he remained for the rest of his stay. Based at Penarth, a seaside resort town at the southern end of Cardiff Bay, Sisley produced five paintings of views in the area. On August 5th he married his long-time companion Eugénie Lescouezec in Cardiff, and from Penarth the couple moved west along the Gower coast to Swansea, where they spent their honeymoon at the Osborne Hotel in the holiday resort town of Langland Bay. There he painted a number of views of the bay and of Lady’s Cove (also known today as Rotherslade Bay), a sheltered beach within Langland Bay, which is dominated by high coastal cliffs. As one modern scholar has noted of Sisley’s Langland Bay views, ‘He blends land, sea and sky together in a shimmering mist to produce an effect of enchantment…The changing and subtle light which Sisley captured, the contrast in tones between the timeless solidity of rock and the never-ending movement of the sea makes one regret that he did not paint more seascapes.’6 This vibrant pastel view of Langland Bay, in remarkably fresh condition, is closely related to Sisley’s painting of the same view (fig.1), dated 1897, which is today in a private collection7. Both views were probably painted from a window of the Osborne Hotel overlooking the Bay. In a letter to his friend Adolph Tavernier, sent on the 18th of August 1897, soon after arrival at the hotel, Sisley wrote ‘I have been here for five days. The countryside is totally different from Penarth, more hilly, and on a larger scale. The sea is magnificent and the subjects are interesting. But you have to fight hard against the wind, which reigns supreme here. I had not experienced this nuisance before, but I am getting used to coping with it and have already discovered the knack. I think I shall wait till the bad weather drives me away, because there is plenty to do here.’8 At the end of the summer, Sisley returned to Moret-sur-Loing with around twenty paintings of Welsh views. According to an anonymous article in the October 4th issue of Le Journal noting Sisley’s return to France, ‘The Impressionist master has brought back from Penarth and Langland Bay a series of admirable sea pieces, in which the strange flavour of that landscape, little frequented by painters, is rendered with an art that is as captivating as it is personal. We may shortly expect an influx of admirers to the celebrated painter’s studio at Moret.’9 Three paintings of Welsh views by Sisley were exhibited at the Salon of the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts in May 1898. As Ann Sumner has written, ‘Alfred Sisley’s views of the South Wales coast, painted at the very end of his life, have only recently been appreciated as the final flourish of his artistic career. These, his only surviving seascapes, are undoubtedly indebted to his friend Monet’s approach…He had not enjoyed the same financial success as his fellow Impressionist painters and he may well have considered the sales of Monet’s seascapes and sought to emulate them…there is undoubtedly a similarity between the two artists’ approach to seascape painting.’10

1. Alfred Sisley, Cliffs at Langland Bay, 1897. Private collection, courtesy Dickinson.


16 HILAIRE-GERMAIN-EDGAR DEGAS Paris 1834-1917 Paris After the Bath (Le repos après le bain) Pastel and charcoal on light brown papier calque, mounted on board. Signed degas in pencil at the upper left. 387 x 330 mm. (15 1/4 x 13 in.) PROVENANCE: The studio of the artist, Paris; The first Vente Degas, Paris, Galerie Georges Petit, 6-8 May 1918, lot 237 (‘Le repos après le bain’), bt. Comiot for 6,100 francs; Charles Comiot, Paris; Denis Rouart, Paris; Private collection, Zurich, in 1951; Otto Wertheimer, Paris; Faerber and Maison, London; Acquired from them by Catherine Gamble Curran, London and New York; Her posthumous sale, New York, 8 May 2008, lot 121; Private collection, London. LITERATURE: Paris, Michel Manzi and Goupil & Cie., Degas: Vingt dessins, 1861-1896, Paris, 1897-1898, pl.19; François Fosca, ‘La Collection Comiot’, L’amour de l’Art, April 1927, illustrated p.112; Paul-André Lemoisne, Degas et son oeuvre, Paris, 1946, Vol.III, pp.716-717, no.1232 (‘Le repos après le bain’), where dated 1896; Denis Rouart, The Unknown Degas and Renoir in the National Museum of Belgrade, New York, Toronto and London, 1964, p.XV; Jean Sutherland Boggs, Drawings by Degas, exhibition catalogue, Saint Louis and elsewhere, 1967, pp.205-208, no.138; Franco Russoli and Fiorella Minervino, L’opera completa di Degas, Milan, 1970, p.132, under no.1027; Antoine Terrasse, Degas et la photographie, Paris, 1983, p.46, under no.25; Jean Sutherland Boggs et al., Degas, exhibition catalogue, Paris, Ottawa and New York, 1988-1989, p.548, fig.309; Richard Kendall, Degas beyond Impressionism, exhibition catalogue, London, 1996, p.49; Gary Tinterow, ‘Degas’s Degases’, in Ann Dumas et al, The Private Collection of Edgar Degas, exhibition catalogue, New York, 1997, p.96, fig.121; Malcolm Daniel, Edgar Degas, Photographer, exhibition catalogue, New York and elsewhere, 1998-1999, p.41, fig.26; Martin Schwander, ed., Edgar Degas: The Late Work, exhibition catalogue, Basel, 2012-2013, illustrated p.150. EXHIBITED: Paris, Musée de l’Orangerie, Degas, 1937, no.174 (‘Femme renversée sur le dossier d’une chaise longue’); Copenhagen, Ny Carlsberg Glypotek, Edgar Degas 1834-1917: Skulpturer og Monotypier, Tegninger og Malerier, 1948, no.120; Bern, Kunstmuseum, Degas, 1951-1952, no.112; St. Louis, City Art Museum, Philadelphia, Philadelphia Museum of Art and Minneapolis, Minneapolis Society of Fine Arts, Drawings by Degas, 1967, no.138; New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Private Collection of Edgar Degas, 1997-1998; Basel, Fondation Beyeler, Edgar Degas: The Late Work, 2012-2013. Much of Edgar Degas’s late work – from around 1885 until he stopped working in 1912 – was devoted to a series of paintings, drawings, pastels and lithographs of the female nude. In the catalogue of the eighth and final Impressionist exhibition of 1886, a large group among the works shown by Degas were described simply as ‘Suite de nus de femmes se baignant, se lavant, se séchant, s’essuyant, se peignant ou se faisant peigner.’ Many of these late works are in pastel, a medium that, by the end of his career, Degas was using almost exclusively. As has been noted of the artist’s pastels of the late 1880’s and 1890’s, ‘His subject matter was limited to a small range of compositional elements that were replicated, arranged, and rearranged by tracing. The ease with which pastel could be employed allowed him the luxury of concentrating on line, form and color.’1 This beautiful pastel and charcoal drawing of a nude leaning on the back of a chaise-longue, in a contorted pose, can be related to three paintings by Degas. Two of these are in private collections2, while a third, larger and almost monochromatic red canvas is in the Philadelphia Museum of Art3. All of these works may in turn be based on a remarkable photograph – thought to have been taken (if not printed) by Degas himself – of a nude posed in the artist’s studio (fig.1). Only recently discovered and known in only one proof, this small gelatin silver print is today in the collection of the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles4.


The unusual pose of the nude in this drawing, and in the related paintings and photograph, has been described by one scholar as ‘a poignant blend...of eroticism and anguish’5. It would appear to relate to a passage in Degas’s friend Georges Jeanniot’s recollections of the artist at work: ‘Degas was always very preoccupied with the precision of movements and poses, and studied them at length. I saw him, with a model, trying to pose her in the movement of drying herself while leaning on a high padded back of a chair covered with a bathrobe. This movement is complicated. You see her shoulder blades, the woman being shown from the back, but the right shoulder, bearing the weight of the body, takes a most unexpected shape, which suggests some sort of acrobatic activity of violent effort... He was fond of these poses; they bring to mind the idea of ‘pleasant’ suffering, if I may say, in the accomplishment of cleanliness so dear to the civilized woman, rarely seen because they are usually carried out behind closed doors. In short it is Degas, with his keen sense of observation, who first introduced into the artistic domain these postures and actions, which could attain such unique character.’6 The pose that Jeanniot describes is exactly that of the present drawing, and of the Getty photograph on which it must have been based. Although the attribution of the photograph to Degas himself is not universally accepted, Malcolm Daniel has opined that ‘It is difficult to imagine any other photographer of the period making such a nude study. The contortions and distortions of the body are typical of the emotional charge found so often in Degas’s late work; equally characteristic of his work is the suppression of the model’s head in deep shadow. These wholly personal elements separate his remarkable photograph from each of the contemporary genres of the nude [in photography]...Degas’s nude is visceral and authentic.’7 That the photograph was certainly taken in Degas’s studio is confirmed by the fact that the chaise-longue mentioned by Jeanniot, on which the model is posed in the photograph, is also visible in other images of the artist’s last Parisian studio on the rue Victor Massé, where he had moved in January 1890. As Jean Sutherland Boggs has noted of this pastel and charcoal drawing, ‘About 1895 Degas did some of his most beautiful oil paintings of nudes, their colors strangely exotic as if they were an anticipation of the late work of Pierre Bonnard. The exoticism of the color was often quite independent of any literal description of a human figure in an interior. In the same way other elements of Degas’s work became increasingly arbitrary and abstract. In this drawing, for example, Degas used the charcoal and pastel as though they were abrasive tools, their rough hatching creating an atmosphere of friction around the body which is twisted into an unlikely, if not ungraceful, position, caught between agony and ecstasy.’8 A closely related drawing by Degas, little known to scholars until its publication in 1964, is in the collection of the National Museum (Narodni Musej) of Belgrade9. Drawn in charcoal heightened with touches of pastel, it is of smaller dimensions and less finished than the present sheet, and would appear to predate it. Richard Kendall has noted of the large painting in Philadelphia (fig.2), to which the present sheet is closely related, that ‘such compositions clearly belong with the most challenging representations of the human form at this moment in European history, as several major artists in France and elsewhere strove to define a new vocabulary of figurative form. Like these contemporaries, from the elderly Cézanne to the teenage Picasso, Degas also found himself self-consciously invoking old-master traditions as he simultaneously pushed forward into unknown pictorial territory... grounded in the past and constructed with the aid of modern technology, Degas’s resonant painting is perhaps best understood as a statement about human vitality and the spaces that contain it in the contemporary world.’10 Like many of the charcoal and pastel drawings of the artist’s late career, the present sheet is drawn on papier calque, or tracing paper. This type of paper had a smooth surface and, though thin, was strong enough to be rolled and unrolled repeatedly in the studio. As George Shackelford has noted, ‘In the 1890s…Degas turned to a new shortcut for transferring a successful idea from one surface to another. For this purpose, he used tracing paper – papier calque – through which he could see a drawing below. The smooth, uniform surface of the hard-milled paper provided an unusual but ideal foil for the charcoal sticks that he favored as drawing tools, allowing him both to obtain very smooth, continuous lines unbroken by the tooth of rougher papers and also to smudge and wipe the charcoal, or even to erase it, to create shadow or to correct a misplaced contour.


1. Edgar Degas, Nude (Drying Herself), c.1896. Gelatin silver print. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles.


Such tracings could stand on their own as independent sheets and were sometimes signed and sold by Degas, but the vast majority of them remained in the studio, to be discovered at the time of his death.’11 Degas would often have the papier calque mounted onto a more rigid surface, usually a white board, sometimes with strips of the same tracing appear added at the sides to enlarge the composition. Significantly, this pastel was selected by Degas as one of twenty drawings to be reproduced in colour in facsimile in a lavish album of plates published by the art dealer Michel Manzi in Paris in late 1897. The drawings chosen by the artist spanned his whole career, and the album was published in an edition of one hundred examples, with many copies signed by the artist. Upon publication, the album was exhibited by Manzi, and was favourably reviewed by several critics. One, André Mellerio, wrote of the album that ‘for all collectors and critics, as for all artists, the present publication contains not only material worth admiring but also a lesson on which to reflect profoundly. What strikes one, with Degas, is his certainty, that mark of a master; his absolute control, consisting simultaneously of precision and ease...[the drawings] reach a final triumph in the female nudes.’12 Another writer, Thadée Natanson, noted that ‘Leafing through the book, one comes to appreciate the genius of the painter-draftsman and simultaneously to realize how many of the best contemporary artists owe to him practically everything they know or dare to do.’13 Similarly, the artist Camille Pissarro wrote of the drawings reproduced in the Manzi album that ‘it’s here we see that Degas is truly a master, it’s as beautiful as Ingres, and dammit, it’s modern!’14 With only a few exceptions, the twenty drawings and pastels chosen by Degas for the Manzi album, including the present sheet, remained with the artist until his death. This pastel was one of several works acquired at the sales of the contents of Degas’s studio by the Parisian amateur Charles Comiot, who also owned paintings and drawings by Jean-Louis Forain, Berthe Morisot, Théodore Rousseau and Johan Barthold Jongkind, among other artists15. Comiot owned a large and significant group of paintings and pastels by Degas. As the art critic François Fosca noted of the Comiot collection in 1927, ‘The artist most widely represented here is Degas. One can sense the predilection that M. Comiot has always had for this great master…At M. Comiot’s, Degas is represented in a varied manner: genre scenes, portraits, dancers, nudes, landscapes, interiors, that inform us both of the early years of the painter as well as of his last works.’16 The present sheet was later in the collection of the art historian, curator and Impressionist scholar Denis Rouart (1908-1984), who was the grandson of Degas’s friend Berthe Morisot, before being acquired by the renowned art dealer Otto Wertheimer (1896-1972).

2. Edgar Degas, After the Bath, c.1896. Oil on canvas. The Philadelphia Museum of Art.


17 SIR WILLIAM ROTHENSTEIN Bradford 1872-1945 Far Oakridge, Gloucestershire Landscape with Trees in Blossom Pastel on buff paper. Signed with initials and dated W.R. 1902 in pencil at the lower right. 235 x 343 mm. (9 1/4 x 13 1/ 2 in.) [sight] PROVENANCE: Julius Stern, Berlin; His posthumous sale, Berlin, Galerie Paul Cassirer, 22 May 1916, lot 157 (‘Landschaft mit blühenden Bäumen’). Born in Yorkshire, William Rothenstein entered the Slade School of Art in London in 1888, studying there with Alphonse Legros, from whom he gained a thorough grounding in the principles of academic draughtsmanship. The following year he enrolled at the Académie Julian in Paris, where he remained for four years. His time in Paris found the young Rothenstein befriending such artists as James McNeill Whistler, who was to be a dominant influence for several years, as well as Edgar Degas and Camille Pissarro. Rothenstein’s growing status as a portrait draughtsman in Paris led to a commission for a set of twenty-four portraits of Oxford academics, and on his return to England he continued to develop a reputation and market for his portraits. Indeed, throughout his career, portraiture – whether in the form of drawings, paintings or lithographs – formed by far the largest part of his output. Rothenstein later served as Principal of the Royal College of Art between 1920 and 1935. Rothenstein often worked in the medium of pastel, mainly for portraits but also occasionally for landscapes. Dated 1902, this fine and lively pastel landscape would appear to have been executed during the artist’s visit to Germany that year. In January 1902, an exhibition of Rothenstein’s work was mounted at the Eduard Schulte Gallery in Berlin. Although the show was well received by critics, it did not result in many sales, apart from some drawings and prints. It was in Berlin in March 1902 that Rothenstein met the German playwright Gerhart Hauptmann, who invited the artist to stay with him in Silesia, in the mountain range known as the Riesengebirge (today the Krkonoše mountains) straddling what is now the border between Poland and the Czech Republic. As Rothenstein later recalled of Hauptmann in his memoirs, ‘An immediate sympathy sprang up between us…He pressed us to come to the Riesengebirge, in Silesia, where he lived; I would find the landscape inspiring, he promised…We took train to Hirschberg, and from there drove up to Agnetendorf. It was early spring, and the orchards were in full flower, the grass bright emerald; behind were the Riesengebirge, ringed by dark pine woods. The sun was shining; it was our first sight of the snow-covered mountains, and the higher we got the higher our spirits rose too…Agnetendorf, with its beautiful little farmhouses, low, thatched, with small gay-coloured shuttered windows, each with its orchard, was ideal for a painter. What a happy change it was from Berlin!’1 The artist’s son John Rothenstein has noted that, in the early years of the 20th century, his father’s work developed ‘a sudden preoccupation with daylight, with a consequent intensification of his palette. Its chief cause was probably his increasing interest in landscape. He worked, almost always, in front of his subject rather than from studies, which at once brought him up against the problems of the representation of openair light. Another cause was the delayed influence of Impressionism, from which he had been temporarily immunized by Whistler’s advocacy of low tones. Rejection of Whistlers dandyism, I surmise, led naturally to the end of this immunity, and his eye was gradually filled by dazzling light.’2 The present sheet was one of two landscape pastels by William Rothenstein, each of similar dimensions3, acquired by the prominent Berlin banker and art collector Julius Stern (1858-1914)4.


18 CLAUDE MONET Paris 1840-1926 Giverny Waterloo Bridge in Fog Pastel on blue paper. 312 x 480 mm. (9 1/ 8 x 18 7/ 8 in.) PROVENANCE: The studio of the artist; By descent to the artist’s son, Michel Monet, Giverny; Thence by descent to a private collection; Anonymous sale, London, Sotheby’s, 25 June 1996, lot 105; Private collection, Switzerland; Anonymous sale, London, Christie’s, 6 February 2003, lot 414; Private collection, London. LITERATURE: Daniel Wildenstein, Claude Monet: Catalogue raisonné, Vol.V, Lausanne, 1991, p.175, no. P103; James A. Ganz and Richard Kendall, The Unknown Monet: Pastels and Drawings, exhibition catalogue, London and Williamstown, 2007, p.256, fig.259 (with incorrect dimensions). EXHIBITED: London, Royal Academy of Arts, and Williamstown, Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, The Unknown Monet: Pastels and Drawings, 2007. Claude Monet began working in pastel from his earliest years as an artist in Normandy, and continued to do so until the very beginning of the 20th century. Around 110 pastel drawings by Monet are known today, almost all of which are fully developed compositions, rather than quick sketches. That the artist considered his pastel landscapes as significant works in their own right is evident as early as the first Impressionist exhibition of 1874, when he chose to exhibit seven of his pastels alongside five paintings. Throughout his career Monet sold pastel drawings to collectors and gave them as gifts to close friends, and they continued to be avidly acquired by dealers and collectors before and after his death. As Richard Kendall has noted, ‘Monet’s lifelong willingness to release his pastels into the larger world is crucial in defining their status: these were manifestly public images, not secretive experiments…In the last quarter-century of his life, these small, radiant images made their contribution to his growing reputation in a number of ways.’1 Nevertheless, Monet’s pastels remain far less well known, and have been much less studied, than his paintings. The vast majority of these vibrant works on paper remain in private hands today, and only a few are in museum collections. Monet first visited London between 1870 and 1871, painting views of the Houses of Parliament, the Thames and Hyde Park. Several years later he expressed a desire to return to London to paint views of the river Thames, writing in a letter of 1887 to Théodore Duret that he wanted to ‘try to paint some effects of fog on the Thames’2. It was not until 1899, however, that he was able to realize this longstanding ambition. That year Monet spent some six weeks in September and October in London. As his friend James McNeill Whistler had done before him, Monet took a suite of rooms at the Savoy Hotel, on the Victoria Embankment overlooking the Thames. From his hotel window, he painted views of Charing Cross railway bridge looking upstream to the right and Waterloo Bridge to the left. The views of Waterloo Bridge show factory chimneys and the prominent tower of a lead foundry on the far bank of the river3. In February 1900 Monet returned to London and the Savoy Hotel for three months to continue this series of paintings, and again the following year, between January and April of 1901; on each trip he would embark on new works as well as returning to the canvases he had begun earlier. Monet’s London paintings are characterized by a desire to record the atmospheric light effects of sunshine diffused by the combination of fog, mist and coal smoke prevalent in the city during the winter months. He was, in particular, determined to capture the effects of fog on the views he had chosen to depict. As he told the dealer René Gimpel several years later, ‘I so love London! but I love it only in winter. It’s nice in summer with its parks, but nothing like it is in winter with the fog, for without the fog London


wouldn’t be a beautiful city. It’s the fog that gives it its magnificent breadth. Those massive, regular blocks become grandiose within that mysterious cloak.’4 When there was no fog, the artist would grow anxious, writing to his wife, ‘This morning I believed the weather had totally changed; on getting up I was terrified to see that there was no fog, not even the shadow of a fog; I was devastated and saw all my canvases ruined, but little by little, the fires kindled, and the smoke and fog returned.’5 Monet would often work in freezing conditions for long hours, and his daily letters home to his wife Alice record the delights and frustrations of his attempts to capture the fleeting effects he wanted. Monet’s three campaigns in London between 1899 and 1901 resulted in nearly one hundred paintings of views of the Thames at different times of day and under various climatic conditions. This splendid, atmospheric study of Waterloo Bridge in Fog is part of a small group of pastels produced during Monet’s final stay in London in 1901. Having arrived in London at the end of January to find that his painting materials had been held up at customs and had not yet reached him at the Savoy, Monet immediately produced ‘a few pastel sketches’, as he wrote in a letter to his wife Alice6. The following day he wrote again to Alice: ‘[I] continue to experiment with pastel. I enjoy it very much even though I’m not accustomed to using it; it keeps me busy and may even help me.’7 The next day he wrote of his pastels, ‘it is true that I am not wasting my time on this: I am looking a great deal and observing what I will be working on; I am making many pastel studies which function as exercises, however, I would prefer to be more gainfully employed.’8 By the 1st of February he was back at work on his paintings, but still wrote to Alice that ‘It is thanks to my pastels, made swiftly, that I realized how to proceed.’9 In all, twenty-six pastels from Monet’s visit to London in 1901 are known, of which seventeen are views of Waterloo Bridge10. Richard Kendall has noted that ‘Monet appears to have begun a number of his London sheets, perhaps all of them…[by] first drafting the major forms with relatively crisp lines, then spreading successive strokes of colored pastel as he developed his “effect”. In most examples, the subsequent accumulation of powdery hues would be softened with his finger or with a stump, a cylinder of rolled paper kept by pastellists for this purpose…emphatic strokes – some of them colored – have marked out the contours of bridge, boats, and distant chimneys. Over and around them, Monet has spread a thin veil of paler pastel, evoking the insubstantial effects of smoke or mist through his gentle manipulations...all his London pastels are evocative rather than descriptive, as befits the character of the medium at hand.’11 Like the paintings themselves, the London pastels reflect Monet’s obsessive study of the motifs in front of him, and especially of the atmospheric effects he wanted to reproduce. Remarkable for its looseness of handling and the delicate, almost vaporous quality of the medium itself, the present sheet has been singled out by Kendall, who notes that this particular pastel ‘almost dissolves the gravity of its subject beneath a soft veil of tinted light. Most significant here is the introduction of the foreground boats, built entirely in lines of powder blue toward the end of the creative process.’12 Many of the London pastels were regarded by Monet as finished works of art, to be sold to collectors or given as gifts to friends. It is interesting to note that, despite having been produced to occupy his time while waiting for his painting materials to arrive, these works on paper were held in high regard by the artist. As Kendall has pointed out, ‘almost all of Monet’s pastels are emphatically, self-consciously constructed within the rectangle of the sheet, as were his oil paintings within their respective canvases...The notion that Monet saw each of his pastels as equivalent of a small oil painting, limited in scale but proportionately worthy of attention, helps to explain something of their distinctive character.’13 The London pastels of 1901 were Monet’s last works in the medium, which he does not seem to have taken up again after his return to France. Indeed, Daniel Wildenstein describes them as ‘a veritable swansong in the field of pastel that had been abandoned for several years…[and] the most important series’ of pastels by the artist. At least half of the London pastels seem to have left Monet’s studio before his death, having been acquired by collectors and dealers. While one or two were included in exhibitions before the Second World War, it was not until after the war that ‘the pastels slowly began to enter the canon of Monet’s acknowledged achievements.’14


19 FRANCESCO PAOLO MICHETTI Tocco di Casauria 1851-1929 Francavilla al Mare Fields with Trees in Blossom Pastel, charcoal and touches of gouache on blue paper laid down on blue card. Signed and dated 18 III 05 FP Michetti in black chalk at the lower right. 301 x 445 mm. (11 7/ 8 x 17 1/ 2 in.) PROVENANCE: Anonymous sale, London, Sotheby’s, 8 October 1980, lot 436; Eric Holder, London. A pupil of Domenico Morelli at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Naples, Francesco Paolo Michetti enjoyed his earliest success in Paris, where he participated in the Salons of 1872 and 1875. However, it was not until 1877, when his large canvas of The Procession of the Corpus Domini at Chieti was exhibited in Naples to popular acclaim, that he secured his reputation in Italy. Michetti developed a distinctive style of painting, with the use of bold colours and vibrant effects achieved with a brilliant technique. A common thread in his work was his interest in rural themes, and particularly the beliefs and traditions of his native Abruzzo region, seen in such paintings of the 1880’s as The Vow in the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna in Rome. In 1885 he purchased an old convent in the town of Francavilla al Mare that he transformed into a large home and studio. A close friend of Gabriele d’Annunzio, who published an essay on the artist in 1896, Michetti exhibited frequently throughout Italy, often showing large groups of studies in pastel and tempera. At the third Biennale in Venice, held in 1899, Michetti was honoured with a retrospective exhibition of some two hundred works covering the whole of his career. His last major paintings, large canvases entitled The Cripples and The Snakes which continued his interest in local customs, were exhibited at the Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1900, and are today in the Museo Michetti in Francavilla al Mare. After 1900 Michetti largely abandoned painting in favour of photography, becoming one of the first artistic practitioners of the new technique in Italy. In fact, by the early 1880’s he had already begun to base his paintings and drawings on his own photographs, preferring these to using posed models in his studio. During the last thirty years of his life, Michetti continued to experiment with photography, while also producing a series of almost monochromatic landscape drawings and sketches in oil, gouache and pastel, until his death in 1929. As a draughtsman, Michetti had a lifelong passion for the pastel medium, which he was able to exploit for its strong colour and luminous effects. He was introduced to pastel by the painter Eduardo Dalbono, and from about 1877 onwards worked, as a draughtsman, almost exclusively in pastel or mixed media. His pastel drawings are characterized by an abiding interest in the chromatic possibilities of the medium, which he applied with remarkable confidence and virtuosity. Michetti’s use of pastel was also to be a distinct influence on a number of younger artists in Naples, notably Giuseppe Casciaro. Drawn in 1905, this pastel landscape dates from the last decades of Michetti’s career, when the artist had largely abandoned the official art scene in Naples. His work of this period is characterized by a more muted colour scheme, at times nearly approaching the monochromatic, ‘almost as if the artist were thirsting for purification after the orgy of colours employed since his youth and into maturity.’1 Among comparable late pastels by Michetti is a Landscape with the Sea in the Distance, exhibited in Rome in 20052, while a stylistically and compositionally related series of late gouache paintings of landscapes in the Abruzzo region was exhibited at the Venice Biennale in 19103.


20 LUCIEN LÉVY-DHURMER Algiers 1865-1953 Le Vésinet The Dent du Chat, Savoy Pastel. Signed L. Lévy Dhurmer in blue pastel at the lower right. Inscribed L. Lévy Dhurme[r] and Dent du Chat in black chalk on the backing board. 720 x 474 mm. (28 3/ 8 x 18 5/ 8 in.) Lucien Lévy-Dhurmer began his artistic career as a lithographer and decorator, exhibiting only infrequently at the Salons. It was not until 1895 that he began to take up painting seriously. His first exhibition, at the Galerie Georges Petit in 1896, was comprised mainly of pastels and a handful of paintings, and revealed the artist as a painter of mythical scenes and portraits. Soon established as a fashionable portrait painter, he also painted landscapes and decorative mural schemes. Lévy-Dhurmer travelled extensively throughout Europe, making numerous trips to Italy and also visiting Spain, Holland, North Africa and Turkey, while in France he worked in Brittany, Savoy, Alsace, the Vosges and the Côte d’Azur. He exhibited at the Salon des Artistes Français, the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts and the Salon d’Automne, while a retrospective exhibition of his work was held at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris in 1952, the year before his death. Lévy-Dhurmer had a particular penchant for the medium of pastel, with which he was able to achieve striking chromatic effects. Indeed, he had a distinct preference for the medium, using it for portraits, allegorical scenes and landscapes, which he exhibited regularly at the Salon des Pastellistes Français between 1897 and 1913. It was in reference to such pastels that one contemporary critic, in one of the first accounts of the artist’s work to appear in an English publication, described Lévy-Dhurmer’s paintings as ‘the manifestation of one of the most remarkable figures in the art world of to-day. For here we have something more than promise. This is the work of an artist in full possession of style and method, master of himself and of his art.’1 A modern scholar has also reserved particular praise for Levy-Dhurmer’s pastels; ‘Here indeed, is unquestionably the Symbolist painter who shows the most brilliant mastery of pastel…his pastels strike us with the perfection of their execution and the originality of his inspiration.’2 Among Lévy-Dhurmer’s landscape paintings and pastels, studies of mountains are prominent3. This impressive pastel is a view of the Dent du Chat, a mountain peak - rising to nearly 1,400 metres – above Aix-les-Bains on the western edge of the Lac de Bourget, in the département of Savoie in the French Alps. Lévy-Dhurmer visited the region in 1925 and 1935, and this large pastel is likely to date from the first of these trips. Another pastel view of the Dent du Chat, of horizontal dimensions and with the mountain viewed from a greater distance, was in a private Parisian collection in 19734. A pastel view of a rainbow over the Lac de Bourget5 may also be dated to the same period as the present work, as can a stylistically comparable view of Lac Léman recently acquired by the Musée d’Orsay in Paris6. Philippe Saunier’s incisive comments on the large Musée d’Orsay pastel of Lac Léman may equally be applied to the present sheet, with which it shares many characteristics: ‘In Savoie in 1925, and again in 1935, the artist executed a series of landscapes: of Lakes Léman, Bourget and Garda. The use of pastel permitted an absolute poetic transformation of the scenery. The delicate and powdery medium confers a tremulous, misty atmosphere in which all detail disappears. Reality gives way to the sublime by virtue of blurring the parameters between water, earth and sky and merging their properties. This communion of elements creates a climate of mystery...the incredible variations of blue – the colour of spirituality – in this landscape falls into the lineage of Whistler. In his own way, the artist ventures to the edges of representation and seems to explore the virtues of colour for colour’s sake, of which the monochromatic is the ultimate outcome.’7


21 GIUSEPPE CASCIARO Ortelle 1863-1941 Naples Coastal Cliffs Pastel, over an underdrawing in pencil. Signed Casciaro and indistinctly inscribed Costa(?) N(?) 15(?) in brown ink at the lower right. Numbered 38 in pencil at the lower right. Numbered 42 in blue chalk on the verso. Stamped G. CASCIARO / NAPOLI in a circle in blue ink (not in Lugt) on the verso. 327 x 505 mm. (12 7/ 8 x 19 7/ 8 in.) [sheet] Born in the province of Lecce, Giuseppe Casciaro enjoyed a long and successful career of some sixty years. He was a pupil of Filippo Palizzi, Gioacchino Toma, Stanislao Lista and Domenico Morelli at the Accademia di Belle Arti in Naples, where he won numerous prizes. Casciaro developed a particular proficiency for landscape drawings in pastel, although he also painted a handful of oils. He may have first been inspired to take up the medium of pastel in 1885, when a series of pastel drawings by the artist Francesco Paolo Michetti was shown in Naples. Two years later, in 1887, Casciaro exhibited a series of eleven pastel landscapes of his own, and he remained devoted to the medium throughout his career. He settled on the hillside quarter of Naples known as the Vomero, sharing a studio with the painter Attilio Pratella, and for much of his life his preferred subject matter were views in and around Naples and the islands of Capri and Ischia. Between 1892 and 1896 he travelled regularly to Paris, where he had a one-man exhibition and received commissions from the dealer Adolphe Goupil. Appointed a professor at the Accademia in Naples in 1902, by 1906 he was also engaged as a tutor in pastel drawing to the Queen of Italy, Elena di Savoia. Casciaro exhibited frequently in Naples and at the Biennale in Venice, and won a bronze medal at the Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1900. His work was also exhibited throughout Europe; in Munich, Barcelona, Prague, Athens and St. Petersburg, as well as in San Francisco, Tokyo and in South America. Giuseppe Casciaro (fig.1) may be regarded as one of the finest practitioners of the art of the pastel landscape active in Italy in the late 19th century, and his pastels were greatly admired by both collectors and connoisseurs. The author of an early monograph on the artist noted that his pastels achieved ‘an extraordinarily perceptive refinement and a solidity of touch’1, and likened his accomplishments in the medium to that of such predecessors and contemporaries as Michetti, Giuseppe de Nittis, Edgar Degas and Edouard Manet. The Neapolitan poet Salvatore Di Giacomo, a close friend of the artist, chose to describe the pastel landscapes of Casciaro in lyrical terms: ‘A pastel by Casciaro resembles both Bach and Mozart; it is sometimes both tragic and profound, a moving Beethoven-like passage. This elegance is delightful: this spirit, this taste are rare: this pleasant and assured strength, it does not oppress you but it pulls you: and the voice of this lovely artist has all the accents: it has the ardour and the sigh, the impetus and the tenderness, a cry and a murmur.’2

1.


22 ÉDOUARD VUILLARD Cuiseaux 1868-1940 La Baule A Young Girl Seated in a Chair in the Studio Pastel and charcoal on light brown paper. Signed E Vuillard in pencil at the lower right. 479 x 365 mm. (18 7/ 8 x 14 3/ 8 in.) PROVENANCE: Dr. and Mme. Prosper-Emile Weil, Paris; Anonymous sale, Paris, Hôtel Drouot [Loudmer], 25 March 1990, lot 24; Private collection. LITERATURE: Antoine Salomon and Guy Cogeval, Vuillard: The Inexhaustible Glance. Critical Catalogue of Paintings and Pastels, Milan, 2003, Vol.II, p.1066, no.IX-82 (as location unknown), where dated 1909. As a modern scholar has noted, ‘Vuillard was in many ways the supreme graphic artist among the Nabis. He drew throughout his life, indeed daily...’1 From around 1900 onwards he used mainly pastel for his drawings, and came to master the subtlety and vibrancy of this challenging medium. In one of the first monographs on the artist, the critic and art historian Claude Roger-Marx wrote that, ‘Vuillard often found expression by means of pastels’2, and he made more extensive use of the pastel medium than perhaps any French artist since Degas in the previous generation. Pastel was to become an essential part of Vuillard’s working process until the end of his career, and was used for landscape and figure studies, compositional drawings, still life subjects and as preparatory studies for portraits. Perhaps a first idea for the setting for a painted portrait or interior scene, this large sheet is a fine and vivid example of Vuillard’s mastery of the pastel medium. The interior depicted in this drawing appears to be the artist’s second studio, on the Boulevard Malesherbes in Paris, which he began renting in 1909 and used in addition to his main studio on the Place Vintimille. As Jacques Salomon has noted, ‘For some years Vuillard had been renting a studio at 112 boulevard Malesherbes, using it to paint large canvases in and to store everything that his small apartment could not contain. From time to time, he also received models there. The place comprised a bedroom that got its light on one side from the studio, and on the other from a tiny kitchen...’3 The present sheet may be loosely grouped with a series of paintings and pastels of nude or partially-clothed models seated or at rest in the studio, datable between 1909 and 19114. MaryAnne Stevens has suggested that these works reflect Vuillard’s response to his fellow Nabi Pierre Bonnard’s increasing focus on paintings of nudes in interiors. ‘Unlike Bonnard’s nudes, however, which were intended for public exhibition and dominate the domestic settings in which they are portrayed, Vuillard’s remain essentially private studies set resolutely within the context of the creative environment, the artist’s studio. Seated,...in relaxed poses,...or standing, naked or half-dressed...they relate to a larger, ongoing enterprise: a visual investigation of the “life of the studio”.’ As she further notes, ‘Vuillard’s approach to the studio world, particularly when inhabited by the nude, must have been noted by Walter Sickert, the English artist, collector and critic, for he observed that in drawing from the live model lessons could be learned from “such heirs of the Impressionist school as Vuillard [and] Bonnard” who stressed the primacy of domestic settings and natural lighting over a formal studio setting bathed in unmodulated light.’5 The physician Prosper-Emile Weil (1873-1963) and his wife Juliette were patrons of Vuillard in the 1920’s. An acquaintance of the artist’s close friends Jos and Lucy Hessel, Dr. Weil became the artist’s personal physician in the 1930’s, while Juliette Weil became one of Vuillard’s favourite models and confidants. Apart from a number of family portraits6, the Weils owned several pastel drawings by Vuillard, including landscapes, floral still lives, and a self-portrait.


23 KER-XAVIER ROUSSEL Chènes 1867-1944 L’Étang-la-Ville Faun and Nymphs in a Landscape Pastel and charcoal on light brown paper. Signed and dated K. X. Roussel, 1910 in pencil at the lower right. 266 x 359 mm. (10 1/ 2 x 14 1/ 8 in.) [sight] PROVENANCE: Galerie Paul Vallotton, Lausanne; Anonymous sale, Berne, Kornfeld & Klipstein, 12 June 1969, lot 1130 (‘Prachtvolles, unberührt farbfrisches Pastell von 1910’); Peter H. Dietsch, New York; By descent to a private collection, London. Francois-Xavier (known from boyhood as Ker) Roussel met his lifelong friend and future brother-in-law, Edouard Vuillard, at school in Paris in 1884. It was Roussel who convinced Vuillard to take up painting as a career, and the two youths studied at the École des Beaux-Arts between 1886 and 1888. They then entered the Académie Julian, where they met Pierre Bonnard, Maurice Denis, Paul Sérusier and Félix Vallotton, and together with these artists formed the group known as the Nabis. Roussel exhibited with the group at the Café Volpini and at the gallery Le Barc de Boutteville, showing mainly landscapes and still life subjects in both oil and pastel. The sombre tonalities of his work of the late 1880’s and early 1890’s, inspired by the paintings of Paul Cézanne, eventually gave way to a lighter palette, as the artist fell under the influence of Impressionism. Roussel had his first one-man exhibition, of pastels, drawings and lithographs, at the offices of the magazine La Revue Blanche in 1894. The following year he visited an exhibition of Cézanne’s paintings at the gallery of Ambroise Vollard, and came away inspired to paint mythological subjects. A lifelong admirer of the classical poetry of Virgil and Ovid and the paintings of Nicolas Poussin, Roussel found his métier in antique themes and classical subject matter, depicting nymphs, gods, fauns and satyrs in Arcadian landscapes. He was able to translate this penchant for classical and pastoral themes into large-scale wall decorations for both public buildings and private homes, for such patrons as the art dealers Josse and Gaston Bernheim and Jos Hessel, the actor and director Aurélien Lugné-Poe, the automobile magnate Lucien Rosenart and the Russian textile manufacturer and collector Ivan Morozov. In 1912 Roussel was commissioned to paint the stage curtain for the newly built Théâtre des ChampsElysées in Paris, working alongside his friend Vuillard, and also provided decorations for the museum at Winterthur and the Palais de Chaillot in Paris. By 1920, Maurice Denis could write that ‘K.-X. Roussel, of all painters, is the only one who has continued the tradition of Cézanne…the splendour of his mythological paintings relates them through Cézanne to the decorative schemes of the palaces of Rome which he has never seen; he creates Poussin in front of nature: and naturally he also possesses the grace of Guido Reni and the nobility of Annibale Carracci.’1 In all, Roussel completed some forty decorative projects, although several were destroyed during the Second World War and others have since been altered or mutilated. Writing in 1964, Denys Sutton opined that, ‘It is, I think, true to claim Roussel as one of the unjustly neglected members of the French school of the period 1890 to 1940. This is mainly due to one fact, understandable under the circumstances; namely, that he painted in a way which does not accord with the canons of contemporary taste. He was a large-scale decorator who found his inspiration in the evocation of a sensuous and pagan world and he deserves our attention because of his conviction that decoration as such still has a rôle to play in the arts. He evolved a manner of painting – bold, dramatic and colourful - which, stylistically, may best be described as Neo-baroque…It is this combination of strong and powerful brush-work with an artist’s eye for colour which gives his work its character.’2 For much of his mature career, the bulk of Roussel’s work was in the form of pastels. The artist’s large decorative mural schemes were often based on small sketches in oil or pastel, of which the present sheet is a particularly fine and fresh example.


24 EDVARD MUNCH Ådalsbruck 1863-1944 Oslo Rocks at the Edge of the Sea Pastel on buff paper. Inscribed (in Norwegian?) and numbered 10 in pencil on the verso. 249 x 355 mm. (9 3/4 x 14 in.) PROVENANCE: The artist’s sister, Inger Marie Munch, Oslo; Given by her to Berta Folkedal, Oslo; Galleri Kaare Berntsen, Oslo; Acquired from them by a private collector in 2003; Anonymous sale, London, Sotheby’s, 20 June 2006, lot 115. Born in the Norwegian province of Hedmark, Edvard Munch was raised in Kristiania (now Oslo) from the age of one. His mother died of tuberculosis when Edvard was five years old, while his elder sister Sophie died of the same disease seven years later, aged just fifteen; the illness and deaths of his mother and sister were to be themes he would later explore in his work as an artist. Munch first achieved a measure of both critical success and notoriety for his painting The Sick Child, shown in 1886. In 1891 he was invited to Berlin to mount a one-man exhibition at the Verein Berliner Künstler. The exhibition caused a scandal and was closed after only a few days, but established the artist’s reputation in Germany. It was during this Berlin period that Munch began working on a project that came to be known as The Frieze of Life; a series of paintings on the themes of life, love, angst and death which was to occupy him for much of the rest of his career, and which came to include such seminal paintings as The Scream, Madonna, The Kiss, Melancholy and The Dance of Life. Exhibited at the Berlin Secession in 1902, the Frieze of Life paintings were to have a profound influence on German Expressionism in the early 20th century. Munch’s time in Berlin also found him beginning to work as a printmaker, through which he would come to develop countless themes that he also explored in his paintings. Between 1902 and 1908 the artist achieved a level of international fame, dividing his time between Berlin and Paris in the winter months, and spending his summers in Norway. In October 1908, however, he suffered a nervous breakdown, and entered a psychiatric clinic in Copenhagen for several months before eventually returning to Norway for good and settling down to a more peaceful, ordered life in the coastal town of Kragerø. Between 1909 and 1916 he painted a series of murals for the main hall of the university in Kristiania, and also painted several full-length portraits. By now a wealthy and successful artist, and something of a celebrity in Germany and Scandinavia, Munch settled in 1916 at Ekely, a rural estate on the outskirts of Kristiania. He would live there, working in relative isolation, for the rest of his life, painting Norwegian landscapes and scenes of rural life. On his death at Ekely in January 1944, Munch bequeathed his artistic estate to the city of Oslo, forming the basis of the Munch Museum, which opened in 1963. Munch drew throughout his life, and the collection of his work bequeathed to his native city included about 7,500 drawings and watercolours, of which more than half were sketchbook pages, contained in around 150 sketchbooks. As a draughtsman, Munch worked in charcoal, pencil, ink, watercolour, gouache and pastel, and many of his drawings can be related to finished paintings. (Few drawings, however, appear to be made specifically as preparatory studies for his graphic work, for which he seems to have drawn directly onto the copper plate or lithographic stone.) On several occasions, the artist exhibited drawings (including watercolours and pastels) alongside his paintings. Although he worked more frequently in watercolours, Munch produced a significant number of pastel drawings throughout his long career, including two of the four versions of The Scream. A testament to his lifelong use of the pastel medium is found in what is thought to be his last self-portrait; a very large drawing in coloured chalks on canvas, in the collection of the Munch Museum in Oslo1. Drawn in 1943 at the age of nearly eighty, Munch depicted himself before a drawing board and holding a stick of pastel in his hand.


This bold pastel study of rocks or boulders at the water’s edge is likely to have been drawn at the little village of Åsgårdstrand, on the western shores of the Oslofjord, where the beach was strewn with large rocks. The Munch family had a summer house at Åsgårdstrand, which is about a hundred kilometres south of Oslo, and spent vacations there from 1889 onwards. Munch returned to the small fishing village, which also attracted a number of other artists and writers from the capital, almost every summer for twenty years. It was a place to which he remained strongly attached, and the curving shoreline and the landscape around Åsgårdstrand were to serve as a constant source of inspiration for his paintings throughout the 1890’s. Ellen Lerberg has noted of Munch that ‘The characteristic shoreline [of Åsgårdstrand] runs like a common thread through many of his pictures, including The Dance of Life and Melancholy.’2 Indeed, as Munch himself wrote, after buying a small house in Åsgårdstrand in 1897, ‘To walk around here is like walking among my pictures. I feel such an urge to paint when walking around in Åsgårdstrand.’3 Munch came to know the features of the Åsgårdstrand shoreline so well that he could reproduce them, if necessary, in his paintings even when he was away from Norway. Similar rocks appear in the foreground of Munch’s large painting of Summer Night (Inger on the Beach) of 1889 in the Kunstmuseum in Bergen4, in which the artist’s sister is posed sitting on boulders at the water’s edge. This and several other paintings of the same date were painted during the summer of 1889 at Åsgårdstrand5. Among a number of beach scenes with similar rocks and boulders is Two Human Beings (The Lonely Ones) of c.1892; a painting which was destroyed in 1900 and is known today only from a photograph6, and Summer Night: Mermaid of 1893, in the Munch Museum in Oslo7. Among a handful of drawings by Munch of a similar subject is a chalk drawing of Stones at Åsgårdstrand (fig.1), datable to after 1912, also in the collection of the Munch Museum8. In a text that may be linked to his Åsgårdstrand paintings, as well as perhaps to the present pastel, Munch wrote, ‘I was walking along the shore – the moon was shining through dark clouds. The stones loomed out of the water, like mysterious inhabitants of the sea. There were large, broad heads that grinned and laughed. Some of them up on the beach, others down in the water. The dark, bluish-violet sea rose and fell – sighs in among the stones...’9 The first owner of this drawing was the artist’s younger sister, Inger Munch (1868-1952). The terms of Munch’s will specified that, after his death, Inger Munch was permitted to select a certain number of works for herself from the contents of the artist’s studio, before the remainder of the estate was presented to the city of Oslo. Together with several other works on paper by Munch, this drawing was later given as a gift by Inger Munch to a close friend, Berta Folkedal (b.1889).

1. Edvard Munch, Stones at Åsgårdstrand. Munch Museum, Oslo.


25 FRANTIŠEK KUPKA Opocno 1871-1957 Puteaux Around a Point (Autour d’un point) Pastel. Signed Kupka in pencil at the lower centre. 285 x 231 mm. (11 1/4 x 9 1/ 8 in.) Born in Bohemia and trained as a painter in Prague and Vienna, František Kupka settled in 1896 in Paris, where he established a successful career as an illustrator and poster designer. He also began painting in a Post-Impressionist vein, and in 1906 one of his paintings was shown at the Salon d’Automne. Shortly thereafter, Kupka came to be associated with a group of artists known as the Section d’Or – including Jacques Villon, Marcel Duchamp, Fernand Léger, Francis Picabia and Albert Gleizes – who were attracted to Cubism but at the same time wished to move beyond the largely monochromatic or muted tones of much Cubist work, in favour of a more radical use of colour. As a Czech artist living in Paris, however, Kupka remained somewhat apart from the art world of both his native country and his adopted city. He also tended to avoid any close association with many of the prominent artists of the day, preferring instead to work in relative isolation in his studio in Puteaux, outside Paris. After the Second World War, Kupka was engaged as a professor at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague, although he retained his studio in Paris. He suffered periodically from depression, which affected his output considerably. A significant group of paintings and works on paper by Kupka, bequeathed by his widow, is today in the collection of the Musée National d’Art Moderne (Centre Georges Pompidou) in Paris. Kupka may be regarded as one of the pioneers of abstraction. At the Salon d’Automne of 1912, he exhibited two of the very first purely abstract paintings to be seen in Paris. Entitled Amorpha: Fugue in Two Colours and Amorpha: Warm Chromatic, they were composed of circular shapes of prismatic colours, leading the poet Guillaume Apollinaire, who noted musical qualities in the work, to label the style Orphic Cubism. A few months later, Kupka exhibited a further abstract composition, dominated not by curved but by vertical elements, at the Salon des Indépendants. As the American scholar and curator Alfred Barr noted, in the catalogue of a seminal 1936 exhibition of Cubism and Abstract Art held in New York, by the end of 1912 Kupka ‘had painted what are probably the first curvilinear and the first rectilinear pure abstractions in modern art. In comparison with these conclusive and carefully considered achievements the slightly earlier abstractions of Kandinsky and Larionov seem tentative.’1 Working more often in pastel and gouache than in oil, Kupka created works in series based on a particular visual or chromatic theme. As one modern scholar has commented, ‘Kupka often worked simultaneously in thematic series, including vertical planes, verticals and diagonals, circular and curvilinear compositions, and cosmological abstractions which sometimes merged into each other even within the same painting.’2 He identified an underlying cosmic order that was composed of a ‘kaleidoscope of changing light, colour forms, and space’, and his ideas about cosmic rotation are, in particular, a significant part of his art. Datable to around 19203, this pastel may be associated with an important series of drawings – executed in pastel, gouache and watercolour – generally entitled Autour d’un point, which Kupka produced at various times between 1911 and 1930, but with particular emphasis in the 1920’s. The artist’s study of the theme of universal gravitation is vividly expressed in these works on paper, with the spiralling motion of the forms further reflecting his interest in the dynamic forces and rhythms of movement in space. The only painting in the Autour d’un point series is a very large canvas, painted between 1925 and 1930 and reworked around 1934, in the Musée National d’Art Moderne in Paris4.


26 SIMON BUSSY Dole 1870-1954 London A Copperhead Snake Pastel, over an underdrawing in pencil, on paper laid down on board. Signed Simon Bussy in pencil at the lower left. 242 x 258 mm. (9 1/ 2 x 10 1/ 8 in.) PROVENANCE: Galerie Druet, Paris, in 1932; The Leicester Galleries, London, in 1933. EXHIBITED: Paris, Galerie Druet, Pastels de Simon Bussy: Paysages du Maroc, Egypte, etc.. Oiseaux exotiques, reptiles, etc., June 1932, no.58 (‘Serpent tête de cuivre’); London, The Leicester Galleries, Pastels of Morocco and Zoo Studies by Simon Bussy, June 1933, no.38. Albert Simon Bussy studied under Gustave Moreau at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, and mounted his first exhibitions of pastels at the Galerie Durand-Ruel in 1897 and 1899. Around 1901 he visited London, where he was introduced into local artistic circles and the New English Art Club by the artist William Rothenstein. (Several years later, in April 1907, Rothenstein wrote a letter to Bussy in which he praised the exhibition of his work held at Leighton House the previous month; ‘It was a real delight to see your work again, and I got more pleasure and emotion from your beautiful pastels than I have had from any pictures of late.’1) In 1903 Bussy married the Englishwoman Dorothy Strachey, and the couple settled at Roquebrune, near Monaco, where they lived for the next three decades. Their house became a meeting place for English and French artists, writers and intellectuals, including Dorothy’s brother Lytton Strachey and her cousin Duncan Grant, as well as Rudyard Kipling, Roger Fry, Virginia Woolf and Bernard Berenson, who owned several of Bussy’s pastels, as did André Gide and Paul Valéry. Throughout his career, Bussy’s pastels and paintings were exhibited at galleries in London and Paris. In one of the earliest monographic studies of Simon Bussy’s work, François Fosca noted that ‘It is surprising that our time, which has seen so many excellent sculptors of animals, is so poor in animal painters. Rather than domestic or familiar animals, Bussy prefers the exotic: snakes, as beautiful as an objet d’art belonging to a refined civilization...’2 Among other depictions of snakes by Bussy is a closely comparable study of a Russell’s viper of c.1925, in a private collection3.


27 SIMON BUSSY Dole 1870-1954 London A Clownfish Pastel on buff paper. Signed with the artist’s monogram SB in black chalk at the lower right. 211 x 290 mm. (8 1/4 x 11 3/ 8 in.) From early in his career, Simon Bussy produced splendid pastel landscapes – of views in Switzerland, Venice, Tunisia, Egypt and the Midi – and portraits of friends and family. From about 1912 onwards, however, he began to focus on pastel drawings of animals, many of which he studied at the London Zoo. His approach was one of long, close and careful study. As he himself noted of his paintings: ‘Each [work] is an invention, a poetic composition, not only decorative…the animals I paint and the foliage which surrounds them…in my opinion there is no element that has not been the object of patient observation; my numerous studies in pastel, created with the paintings in mind, proves it. My animals, birds and reptiles have nothing trivial; they are actual portraits in which I desire that the resemblance emerges from the incidental with always further clarity, precision and purity.’1 As the writer André Gide noted of the artist, ‘Simon Bussy comes from the Jura, of peasant stock…still close to his native soil, all pungency and meaning; authentic inside and out, which enables him to be at home no matter where, and particularly with animals and plants…what now attracts him more and more rather than the likenesses of human beings are the likenesses of birds, fishes, insects. He spends most of his time at the London Zoo or in the Vincennes park or aquarium; then he shuts himself up with his collection of studies and by a kind of patient and lover-like distillation evolves from them his paintings. In face of each living form he seems to be asking, ‘And you there! What have you to tell me?” And the mygale, the crab, the scorpion become motionless and give up their secrets…There are some of Simon Bussy’s fishes whose stupidity fascinates me (as Flaubert’s St. Anthony said of the catoblepas) and at whom I can stand gazing in long drawn-out contemplation. And yet, with all its ineptness this matter is alive and a perfect organism.’2 Bussy’s pastels were widely admired by his contemporaries, and avidly collected by many. The poet Guillaume Apollinaire wrote of the artist that, ‘The pastels of Simon Bussy are delicate images, as precious as Persian miniatures. Precision and vitality are the characteristics of Simon Bussy’s talent, and his use of colour often reaches the heights of Matisse.’3 For his drawings, Bussy invariably used a combination of French-made Roché pastels and buff paper produced by the firm of Cartridge in London. His animals are usually depicted against a toned background of one muted colour, with a reserve of white paper left untouched around the edges of the composition. Some of these pastel studies were later used for larger works in oil on canvas, several of which were illustrated in a lavishly produced book entitled Bestiaire, with text by Francis de Miomandre, published in Paris in 1927. The present sheet is a fine and typical example of Bussy’s refined, delicate pastel technique. As the contemporary writer François Fosca noted, in one of the first monographs on the artist, ‘Simon Bussy developed a new style: with minute precision he applied a vaporous and blurred technique to drawing. In his work, there was never any hatching or vertical marks which would reduce the effect of the layer underneath, or make it stand out. Bussy developed a soft, velvety medium which always avoided becoming cloying or limp.’4 Most of Simon Bussy’s pastel drawings of fish seem to have been made at the zoo at Vincennes, since he was unable to find adequate lighting at the London Zoo in order to make studies of fish there. This charming pastel study may be related to a small painting of two clownfish, dated 1941, which appeared on the London art market in 19915.


28 FIRMIN BAES Sint-Joost-ten-Node 1874-1943 Brussels Still Life with Mushrooms and a Pitcher (Les Champignons) Pastel on canvas. Signed Firmin Baes at the lower left. Further signed and entitled Les Champignons. / Firmin Baes in grey ink and numbered No.4 in blue chalk on the backing board. 590 x 790 mm. (23 1/4 x 31 1/ 8 in.) [sight] PROVENANCE: Private collection, London. A student at the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts in Brussels between 1888 and 1894, the Belgian artist Firmin Baes was active as a portraitist and a painter of still lifes, nudes, landscapes and interiors, often on a large scale. He was a superb draughtsman, adept at charcoal, chalk and pastel. In 1900 his painting The Archers won a bronze medal at the Exposition Universelle in Paris, which brought the young artist to wider notice. (The English periodical The Artist noted that ‘M. Firmin Baes is a very young painter, admirably gifted, who neglects no labour to realise his very personal ideal. ...his skill borders on mastery.’) Baes exhibited annually at galleries in Brussels and elsewhere in Belgium, and also occasionally in Europe and America. While at first he showed oil paintings and large charcoal drawings, as his career progressed he began to work mainly in pastel, producing highly finished works and achieving considerable success for his portraits and still life subjects in particular. In 1910 he built a large house and studio in Brussels which he filled with his collection of paintings and objets d’art, and where he would receive visitors and patrons. He worked to a strict schedule, with mornings spent on portrait sittings and paintings from posed nude models, while the afternoons were devoted to the painting of still life subjects, interiors and landscapes. A member of the Belgian artist’s association ‘Pour l’Art’ from 1898 onwards, he exhibited with the group almost every year for the rest of his career, while in 1919 he also became a member of the Société Royale des Beaux-Arts. Baes’s account book lists a total of 1,340 paintings sold to collectors, of which 264 were still life subjects. From around 1900 onwards Baes worked almost exclusively in pastel, employing a confident, virtuoso technique reminiscent of such 18th century masters of the medium as Jean-Baptiste Chardin. Baes’s exhibition pastels were usually drawn on canvas, rather than paper or board, and he developed a particular (and closely-held secret) technique of fixing the friable pastel medium to the canvas support. The resulting works, usually of substantial dimensions, are characterized by a refined technique and luminous colour. Almost certainly intended as an exhibition piece, this splendid and very large still life is a fine example of Baes’s meticulous pastel technique, and may be dated to the decade of the 1930’s. It is of works such as this that the author of a review of an exhibition of the artist’s work in 1934 noted, ‘Behold a still life by Firmin Baes, extraordinarily true in its tonalities, in the very matter of its objects. The eye is truly touched by the glistening round form of the translucent porcelain, the coarseness of the orange, the softness of the velvet cloth.’1 A comparable pastel still life with a plate of mushrooms, dating from 1936 and of similar dimensions, is illustrated in a recent monograph on the artist2, while another, much smaller example was lately sold at auction in Belgium3. Writing at the time of an exhibition of Firmin Baes’s work in a Brussels gallery in 1932, another critic praised the artist’s remarkable pastel technique, noting in particular a similar still life of mushrooms: ‘The Studio Gallery presents a series of new works by this pastellist who, by subtly squeezing with his thumb chalk in selected tones on the paper or the canvas, achieves a delicacy, softness or an intensity which is not often attained with such great effect with oil painting, and only rarely with the same successful use of the medium...I am referring...above all of the Mushrooms where the virtues of the pastel medium are excelled in reproducing the blue background and the jug made of black stoneware...’4


29 ERICH WOLFSFELD Krojanke 1884-1956 London An Old Woman with a Basket Pastel on handmade paper. Signed Erich Wolfsfeld in pencil at the lower left. 670 x 498 mm. (26 3/ 8 x 19 5/ 8 in.) [sight] PROVENANCE: The Tib Lane Gallery, Manchester; Private collection. Erich Wolfsfeld enrolled at the Berlin Academy of Arts in 1904 and completed his studies at the Académie Julian in Paris in 1906. Between 1908 and 1909 he lived and worked in Rome. His early career was largely devoted to printmaking, and in Rome he produced a number of large etchings of nudes and beggars. Beggars were to serve as a common motif in his work throughout his later career, though always imbued with a particular dignity. Wolfsfeld soon began painting in oils, although he seems to have always worked on treated paper, rather than on stretched canvas. In 1918 Wolfsfeld took up a post as a professor of drawing at the Berlin Academy, and two years later rose to the position of professor of painting and etching. An exhibition of his etchings was held in Vienna in 1924 to considerable acclaim, and the following year he exhibited paintings of Turkish and Moroccan subjects in Berlin. He travelled widely in Europe, and was also in particular drawn to North Africa and the Middle East. In 1928 Wolfsfeld made a trip through Egypt and Palestine that had a profound impact on him, and led to the publication of an account of his travels, entitled Einedrücke von einer Orientreise. Although a popular and highly regarded teacher, as a Jew Wolfsfeld was forced to resign from the Academy in 1935 as a result of Nazi pressure. Three years later he emigrated to Britain, bringing much of his work with him but leaving behind a large painting of Joseph and his Brethren, now in the Magdalenakirche in Berlin. After a brief period at an internment camp on the Isle of Man, Wolfsfeld settled first in Sheffield and later in London. An exhibition of his work, held at the Graves Art Gallery in Sheffield in 1939, led to a number of portrait commissions, and in 1943 he exhibited his etchings at the Royal Academy. But he seems to have been quite unsettled by his uprooting from Germany, and only relatively few works may be dated to the war years. A large and comprehensive exhibition of his work, numbering 163 paintings, drawings and prints, was held at the Derby Art Gallery in 1953. Shortly before his death he was elected an associate member of the Royal Society of Painter-Etchers and Engravers. Wolfsfeld’s work is today represented in the National Portrait Gallery, the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Imperial War Museum in London, as well as in several provincial museums and, further afield, in museums in New York, Vienna, Berlin, Paris, Stockholm and Jerusalem. Writing a few years after the artist’s death, one art critic noted that ‘To say that Erich Wolfsfeld was just a brilliant technician would be unjust to his memory. He was much more than a technician. He was an artist who loved drawing for its own sake – who could combine power and sensitivity – who enjoyed describing the human form either with brush or chalk or the etcher’s needle. And he solved the problem of the portrayal of the human race with an intensity of perception that is deeply moving particularly in his studies of old men and young children.’1 More recently, another critic wrote of Wolfsfeld, ‘The simple reality of what he saw on his travels did not move him either to exaggerate or caricature his subject matter. The elderly, poor and blind whom Wolfsfeld observed and painted did not, in any case, merit such treatment. His compassionate vision records the dignity of peoples thoroughly accustomed to adversity. Wolfsfeld’s is an outlook with which Rembrandt himself might have sympathised... ‘In [oil paint] and other media, such as chalk or pen and wash, Wolfsfeld demonstrated a wonderful certainty yet fluency in his drawing...He was an artist of rare ability.’2


30 SAM SZAFRAN Born Paris 1934 Staircase Pastel on card. Signed Szafran in red chalk at the lower centre. 284 x 190 mm. (11 1/ 8 x 7 1/ 2 in.) PROVENANCE: Galerie Nathalie Seroussi, Paris; Private collection, Paris. ‘If I had known what I was letting myself in for, admits Szafran, I probably would never have bought my first box of pastels. I found myself, in 1958, fresh from abstract art, in front of these little multicolored sticks like a poverty-stricken child in a Belgian or Swiss delicatessen amidst an abundance of candy and cakes, and I seized them without even thinking. For twenty years I threw myself into this technique, because I was incapable of mastering it.’1 One of the most significant artists working in pastel in the second half of the 20th century, Sam Szafran was born in Paris in 1934 to Polish immigrants. Although briefly enrolled at the Académie de la GrandeChaumière in Paris in the 1950’s, he was largely self-taught as an artist. While his earliest work was based in abstraction, around 1960 onwards he began to depict representational subjects, drawn in dry pastels (since he first discovered the medium, Szafran has used pastels produced by the firm of Roché, as did Degas before him), as well as in charcoal or watercolour. Content with studying a limited range of subjects - studio interiors, staircases and plant forms – Szafran produced numerous drawings, each characterized by a very skillful handling of the pastel medium and an abiding interest in perspectival effects. From 1965 onwards he has exhibited extensively in France, Switzerland and elsewhere, and works by Szafran are today in the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, D.C., and the Centre National d’Art Contemporain and the Musée National d’Art Moderne (Centre Georges Pompidou) in Paris. Drawn in 1980, the present sheet depicts one of Szafran’s favourite subjects; a staircase seen from above in steep perspectival foreshortening. The artist has described the origin of this motif in his work: ‘One evening I was working in this staircase – I’ve always lived in stairwells – and I fell asleep. It was night and I had a nightmare. I woke up and it was the full moon. There was a shadow falling from the window onto the steps of the staircase. I saw it suddenly – I had passed by a thousand times without seeing it and suddenly I noticed it, so I decided to draw it. But the shadow moved every three minutes...the earth turns...There was a slice of light here, while everywhere else was dark. I drew by the light of a flashlight until everything became dark. At one point, everything that had been very dark became light and everything light became dark. To create the whole, I had to keep moving. I was forced to identify myself with a spider, who ascends and descends the end of his thread.’2 As the artist’s friend James Lord has described these works, ‘Plunging views of vertiginous staircases...with shifting, dizzying variations in points of view, intense but fastidious in color, nearly supernatural in the cadenza virtuosity of execution, verging almost upon abstraction though never quite letting slip the desperate affirmation of a specific subject matter, within which we can occasionally make out, as if glimpsed sidelong in the galactic swirl, the tiny, lovely, fragmentary semblance of a human being.’3 Szafran himself has noted that ‘The impression of the void, of vertigo, is the strongest sensation I have ever experienced. This can explain why my drawings always contain a hint of vertigo and that often, in front of my subject, I’m terrified by the calling of the void.’4 A closely related pastel, of smaller dimensions, was one of several works by Szafran in the collection of Jacques and Anne Kerchache5, while a much larger pastel of the same staircase, dating from 1981, is in the collection of the Musée National d’Art Moderne in Paris6.


31 JOAN MITCHELL Chicago 1925-1992 Paris Untitled Pastel on paper. Signed Joan Mitchell in pencil at the lower right. 781 x 582 mm. (30 3/4 x 22 7/ 8 in.) PROVENANCE: Galerie Jean Fournier, Paris; Acquired from them by Marcel Brient, Paris. EXHIBITED: Tanlay, Château de Tanlay, Centre d’Art Contemporain, Jean Dubuffet / Regard d’un collectionneur, 1988, no.35. Drawn in 1979, this large and vibrant composition was probably made in a studio that Joan Mitchell kept in Montparnasse in Paris in the late 1970’s, and which she mainly used for making drawings, in particular pastels. The opposite in many ways of her large studio in Vétheuil, the Montparnasse atelier was equipped with tables and small easels, and she worked there in solitude, sometimes sleeping there. Only a handful of close friends were allowed access to the studio. This was a period, shortly after her separation from the painter Jean-Paul Riopelle, when the artist found herself unwilling or unable to work on large canvases, and began instead to focus on works on paper. As Jane Livingston has written of this period, ‘Mitchell’s work on paper was something she separated entirely from her painting activity and an endeavor about which she apparently had mixed feelings. She would say that her pastels were “lady paintings”. She did not want to be called a lady painter unless she was using the term herself, nor did she truly invest her deepest energies or intellect in these drawings…Mitchell worked at varying scales at the Montparnasse studio, always on paper, but preferred to show her oversize pastels rather than the small ones…Although making drawings probably never rivaled printmaking in her own priorities, her place in Montparnasse gave her respite, and a way of continuing to work that seems to have been cyclically therapeutic. Ironically, her activity in this studio was literally toxic to her; she worked in a badly ventilated space, using powdery substances, including cadmium, which certainly exacerbated the lung problems that became more and more debilitating.’1 A retrospective exhibition devoted to Mitchell’s work in pastel, comprising some forty works, was held at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1992. In the catalogue of that exhibition, Klaus Kertess wrote of the artist’s pastels that ‘They have an elemental directness as well as a sensuous, chromatic braveness not customarily associated with the pastel’s paler and politer proclivities. They are at once vulnerable and defiant. Mitchell has fully exploited the fragile powdery effusiveness of pastel – the way it fugitively settles into and illuminates the nap of the paper surface. Pastel’s willing responsiveness to the varying pressures of the hand has been deployed in a startling panoply of mark making, from blurred staccato tracks, to amorphous wisps, to sinuous trajectories of athletic aggressiveness. These pastels have a kind of velvet fury.’2 Similarly, in a review of the Whitney exhibition, one critic noted that of Mitchell’s pastels that ‘Essential to all of her work is the attention she gives to the physical weight of pigment. The pastel is applied in thick, emphatic strokes here, tangles of loose calligraphic thread there, with a judicious use of rubbing, smudging and overdrawing throughout. The interwoven colors are many and rich, with a bias toward vegetable hues – succulent greens, dark reds – that make a few of these drawings look like informal but exotic bouquets.’3 The present pastel was acquired from Mitchell’s longtime Parisian dealer, Jean Fournier, by the noted French collector Marcel Brient, and was included in an exhibition of Brient’s collection of contemporary art in the Burgundian town of Tanlay in 1988.


32 DAVID HOCKNEY, OM CH Born 1937 Portrait of Shinro Ohtake Pencil and coloured chalks on white paper. Signed with initials and inscribed Shinro DH in pencil at the lower right. 235 x 265 mm. (9 1/4 x 10 3/ 8 in.) PROVENANCE: National Westminster Bank collection; Connaught Brown, London; Stephen Ongpin Fine Art, London, in 2008; Private collection, Scotland. Portraiture has been a central theme in much of David Hockney’s work. His sitters, with few exceptions, have been friends, family, and lovers; people whom he knew well, and with whom he felt comfortable. As he himself has noted, ‘Naturally I’ve always liked drawing people, so one tends to draw one’s friends and the people one knows around you – anybody does…I think the way I draw, the more I know and react to people, the more interesting the drawings will be. I don’t really like struggling for a likeness. It seems a bit of a waste of effort, in a sense, just doing that. And you’d never know, anyway. If you don’t know the person, you don’t really know if you’ve got a likeness at all. You can’t really see everything in the face. I think it takes quite a lot of time.’1 Hockney’s portraiture is invariably characterized by the artist’s close observation of his subject. As one recent scholar has noted, ‘the intensity of drawing meant that Hockney tended only to make portraits of friends who were sufficiently patient and understanding, and with whom he was sufficiently familiar to be able to capture the changes and variation in their appearance.’2 The subject of this drawing is a young Japanese artist who befriended Hockney in the early 1980’s. Born in 1955, Shinro Ohtake completed his artistic studies at the private Musashino Art University in Tokyo. Soon after his graduation in 1980 he travelled to the north of England to try and meet Hockney, his idol. As Hockney wrote in an introduction to the catalogue of Ohtake’s first one-man exhibition in 1982: ‘I met Shinro through my mother who lives in Bradford, England, about 200 miles north of London. Shinro had noticed an address in a section of my book on my own work, in a letter dated 1952. He had taken the train from London, found the house, and knocked on the door. My mother explained I hadn’t lived there for many years and, inviting him into the house, enquired where he was from. Shinro, in his halting English, had said Tokyo, and my mother thought he said “York”, about 35 miles from Bradford. As the truth came out and Shinro explained, he had come up from London. My parents invited him to stay the night as the last train back to London had left. My parents were charmed by Shinro (and he by them) and I eventually heard of his adventures from my mother who told me I should meet him. A few months later we met in London (I had been in the USA at the time of Shinro’s trip to Bradford) and I too was charmed by him. Conversation at first was difficult, but over the years Shinro’s English improved (and my Japanese is non existant), and we have had interesting conversations. His work has a liveliness and curiosity about European Art that is refreshing...’3 Shinro Ohtake’s close friendship with Hockney is reflected in the intimacy with which the artist has drawn him, and the affection with which he is here portrayed. The drawing also highlights Hockney’s superb, confident draughtsmanship. As has been noted in the catalogue of a retrospective exhibition of his portraiture, ‘David Hockney has a profound affection for drawing and painting on paper and there is no question that his expertise in creating a multitude of portraits on varied sheets is as powerful as his representations on canvas…Many of these portraits reveal his capacity for innovation and experimentation. Indeed, some feel that Hockney will be remembered primarily for his portraits on paper. Certainly, his graphic work lies at the heart of his oeuvre.’5


33 CHRISTOPHER BRAMHAM Born 1952 The Ducks III, Richmond Watercolour, gouache and pastel on paper. Signed, titled and dated Ducks 3 / Spring 1996 / C. Bramham in black chalk on the backing board. 1613 x 750 mm. (63 1/ 2 x 29 1/ 2 in.) PROVENANCE: Marlborough Fine Art, London; Acquired from them in 1996 by Elaine and Melvin Merians, New York. LITERATURE: Patrick McCaughey and Emily M. Weeks, The School of London and Their Friends: The Collection of Elaine and Melvin Merians, New Haven, 2000, pp.60-63, no.29 (entry by Emily M. Weeks). EXHIBITED: New Haven, CT., Yale Center for British Art, and Purchase, NY, Neuberger Museum of Art, The School of London and Their Friends: The Collection of Elaine and Melvin Merians, 2000-2001, no.29. Born in Bradford in Yorkshire in 1952, Christopher Bramham studied at the Bradford College of Art in 1970 and the Kingston-upon-Thames Art School between 1971 and 1973. He spent a number of years working as a part-time teacher, and eventually settled in Richmond, Surrey. A close friend and disciple of Lucian Freud, whom he met in 1982 and who was instrumental in bringing his work to greater public attention1, Bramham has devoted his mature career to landscape painting. As the artist has noted in a recent interview, ‘I paint landscape because I find it endlessly beautiful, birds, trees, mud, wetness, roughness, smoothness. Beauty and shite…My boldness and excitement come from looking at my subject...; and only when in front of my subject do I forget about the unpleasant things in life. When angry I paint, when afraid I paint, when happy too.’2 After being included in a Young Contemporaries exhibition at Agnew’s in 1986, Bramham had his first one-man exhibition at the Fine Art Society in London in 1988, and over the next several years has exhibited at the Marlborough gallery in London and elsewhere3. Throughout the 1990’s, Bramham’s preferred subject matter was suburban London landscapes, and in particular views from the window of his home, a council flat in Richmond. Studied at different times of the day and in various seasons, the streets and scenery of suburban London are depicted in Bramham’s paintings with a devotion that belies the apparent mundanity of the subject. As the artist has recalled to William Feaver, ‘I learned from Lucian [Freud] how to persist with a picture. To do that you have to love the subject.’4 In 1999 the artist and his family left London and settled in Cornwall, and Bramham’s landscapes took on a new dimension, with depictions of farmhouses and rural views, as well as still life subjects. This very large and impressive sheet, drawn in the spring of 1996, is a remarkable tour de force of pastel and watercolour, and depicts the view from the artist’s studio window in Richmond. It is the last and largest of three related works of the same title and subject, the other two having been drawn and exhibited the previous year; all three are tall and narrow compositions5. In more general terms, this monumental landscape drawing belongs with a large group of paintings and pastels, executed in the second half of the 1990’s, focusing on the angled view from the artist’s studio window down into his garden6. The garden is here depicted with its ducks and greenhouse, with, in the middle distance, a fence and beyond it a glimpse of a neighbour’s garden, with a child on a swing. The brightness and intensity of the colours in this large sheet, with the garden depicted in sunshine, is unusual in Bramham’s work, in which a more subdued tonal palette usually predominates; as has been noted of the artist, ‘he prefers grayish-greens to pure, brilliant tones and overcast skies to blue; when the sun does shine in Bramham’s pictures, it bleaches rather than illuminates the landscape.’7


When the present work was exhibited at the Yale Center for British Art in 2000, it was noted of it that, ‘though executed in gouache and pastel, mediums that invite spontaneity and loose strokes, Bramham has not deviated from his usual, laborious style. The odd aerial perspective is testimony to the artist’s practice of painting or drawing what he sees from his upper-story window in Richmond – the ducks, in fact, are family pets. The intensity with which Bramham has studied his backyard, the linear precision of the tree limbs, and the attempt to render every leaf and wisp of straw, pays tribute both to Bramham’s mentors, Dürer and Freud most prominent among them, and to his personal attachment to the landscape…Devotion to and love of the subject matter is what keeps Bramham so intently focused. In painting the world literally at his doorstep, with care and consideration, he discovers the strange beauty of nondescript streets, rows of garages, and railway embankments. It is this ability to render the familiar fresh and new that gives Bramham’s work its power.’8 Christopher Bramham’s work, which is sometimes on a grand scale, can perhaps best be seen within the English tradition of landscape painting, and reflects, for example, the particular and longstanding influence on the artist of the work of John Constable. Yet his work remains largely unknown to all but a few enlightened critics, curators and collectors. In a review of Bramham’s Marlborough exhibition in 2002, the critic Brian Sewell praised the artist as ‘a seriously competent landscape painter... Painters of landscapes, however, rate pretty low in the hierarchies of art today…and no one among the Saatchi-Serota establishment, or even at the Royal Academy, seems to have recognised Bramham’s substantial qualities. His work has parallels with the landscapes of Lucian Freud and the German painter Anselm Kiefer, both men of outstanding international reputation and in demand. Dare one say that Bramham is technically the best of the trio? That he is may well be the reason for his neglect, for technical skill is now so much despised and official support is reserved for technically incompetent painting – but we should look beyond his ability to represent a tree as a tree and a farmyard as a farmyard, beyond his interest in detail, beyond the seeming delicacy, and see that though the handling of paint is smaller in its scale, it has something of the rough robustness that is the prime characteristic of Kiefer, though without his bleak Weltanschaung, and something too of Freud’s peering intensity with elements that interest him…These are undemanding pictures and yet they offer far more reward for contemplation.’9


NOTES TO THE CATALOGUE

Introduction 1.

Geneviève Monnier, Pastels: From the 16th to the 20th Century, Geneva, 194, p.6.

2.

Christopher Lloyd, ‘The Beginnings of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Drawing: Methods, Materials and Modes’, in Klaus Albrecht Schröder and Christine Ekelhart, ed., Impressionism: Pastels, Watercolours, Drawings, exhibition catalogue, Vienna, 2012, p.46.

No.1 Rosalba Carriera 1.

Mercure de France, 12 February 1722; Quoted in translation in Thea Burns, The Invention of Pastel Painting, London, 2007, p.81.

2.

Bernardina Sani, Rosalba Carriera, Turin, 1988, pp.304-306, nos.215-223, figs.188-194.

3.

Inv. Cl. I n.1221; Ibid., no.175, fig.152 (where dated to c.1725-1730).

No.2 Jean-Baptiste Marie Pierre 1.

Affiches, annonces et avis diverses, 14 July 1789 and 1 August 1789; Quoted in Jeffares, op.cit., p.2.

2.

For example, a study of the head of a nymph which appeared on the art market in 1998 and 2004 (Anonymous sale, New York, Christie’s, 30 January 1998, lot 186; With Galerie Prouté, Paris, in 2004; Lesur and Aaron, op.cit., p.445, no.D.392, as present location unknown).

3.

Lesur and Aaron, op.cit., p.272, no.P.158, illustrated in colour p.96.

4.

Lesur and Aaron, op.cit., pp.244-245, nos.P.87 and P.88, one illustrated in colour p.167. The two paintings are in a private collection in Turin and the Konstmuseum in Gothenberg, respectively.

5.

An identical signature is found on several other drawings by Pierre, such as a red chalk study of a female nude in a private collection in New York (Perrin Stein and Mary Tavener Holmes, Eighteenth-Century French Drawings in New York Collections, exhibition catalogue, New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1999, pp.84-86, no.36).

6.

Inv. 12251; Lesur and Aaron, op.cit., p.376, no.D.182, illustrated in colour p.44. The drawing, which appears to be a study for a painting of c.1744, measures 390 x 299 mm.

No.3 Charles-Laurent Maréchal 1.

Inv. RF 398; Geneviève Monnier, Musée du Louvre, Cabinet des dessins, Musée d’Orsay: Pastels du XIXe siècle, Paris, 1985, p.155, no.178. The pastel measures 1150 x 925 mm.

No.4 Paul Huet 1.

‘pour le paysage la couleur est indispensable: c’est sa plus vive expression, il ne peut s’en passer, pas plus que du dessin.’

2.

Inv. RF 31.715 and RF 31.716; Geneviève Monnier, Musée du Louvre, Cabinet des dessins, Musée d’Orsay: Pastels du XIXe siècle, Paris, 1985, pp.121-122, nos.135-136.

3.

Several examples are illustrated in Elisabeth Maréchaux Laurentin, Paul Huet, peintre de la nature, Paris, 2009, pp.28, 30 and 59.

No.5 James Thomas Linnell 1.

Clara Erskine Clement and Laurence Hutton, Artists of the Nineteenth Century and Their Works: A Handbook, London, 1879, Vol.II, p.70.

2.

James Dafforne, ‘British Artists: Their Style and Character. No. CVII: James Thomas Linnell’, The Art-Journal, October 1872, pp.250-251.

3.

His sale, London, Christie’s, 20 November 2003, lot 51. The drawing measures 254 x 295 mm.

4.

Ingram sale (‘The Ingram Collection: Drawings and Watercolours from the Collection of the Late Michael Ingram’), London, Sotheby’s, 8 December 2005, lot 183. The drawing measures 245 x 350 mm.


No.6 Louise Becq de Fouquières 1.

Anonymous sale, London, Christie’s, 6 July 2004, lot 198.

2.

In the summer of 1869, the same year that the present pastel was drawn, the painter William Bouguereau also spent time in Brittany, and painted two genre scenes of women from Fouesnant wearing the same type of headdress.

3.

Anonymous sale, London, Sotheby’s, 21 June 1984, lot 679. The large pastel measured 1280 x 980 mm.

4.

Anonymous sale, London, Christie’s, 6 February 1987, lot 69.

No.7 Edgar Degas 1.

At the fourth and final Degas studio sale, held in July 1919, the present sheet was framed and sold together with a pastel study of houses at the edge of a cliff, of the same dimensions (Lemoisne, op.cit., Vol.II, no.247). The pair sold for 3,600 francs.

2.

Louisine W. Havemeyer, Sixteen to Sixty: Memoirs of a Collector, New York, 1961, p.247.

3.

Louise Gonse, ‘Les aquarelles, dessins, et gravures au Salon de 1877’, Gazette des Beaux-Arts, 1 August 1877, p.162; Quoted in translation in Anne F. Maheux, ‘Looking into Degas’s Pastel Technique’, in Jean Sutherland Boggs and Anne Maheux, Degas Pastels, London, 1992, p.19.

4.

Christopher Lloyd, ‘The Autonomy of Drawing’, in Christopher Lloyd and Richard Thomson, Impressionist Drawings from British Public and Private Collections, exhibition catalogue, Oxford and elsewhere, 1986, p.55.

5.

Lemoisne, op.cit., Vol.II, pp.112-121, nos.217-253. An excellent survey of the pastel landscapes of this period is found in Richard Kendall, Degas Landscapes, New Haven and London, 1993, pp.85-107.

6.

Lemoisne, op.cit., Vol.I, p.61; Quoted in translation in Jean Sutherland Boggs et al, Degas, exhibition catalogue, Paris, Ottawa and New York, 1988-1989, p.154.

7.

Christopher Lloyd, Edgar Degas: Drawings and Pastels, London, 2014, p.83.

8.

Notebook 23, pp.58-59; Théodore Reff, The Notebooks of Edgar Degas, Oxford, 1976, Vol.I, p.118 (‘Villers s[ur] mer / coucher de soleil / orange rosé froid et sourd / neutre / mer dos de sardine et plus clair que le ciel…band du rivage – brun / premières flaques d’eau / reflétant l’orangé / deuxièmes reflétant le haut du ciel / devant de sable café au lait / un peu sombre.’); Quoted in translation in Ann Dumas, ‘Degas, The Secret Landscapist’, in Ann Dumas et al, Edgar Degas: The Last Landscapes, exhibition catalogue, Columbus and Copenhagen, 20062007, p.16.

9.

Jean Sutherland Boggs, ‘A Sketch of Degas’s Life with Pastel’, in Sutherland Boggs and Maheux, op.cit., p.11.

10. Sutherland Boggs and Maheux, op.cit., p.46, under no.4. 11. Inv.24123; Christopher Lloyd, Impressionism: Pastels, Watercolors, Drawings, exhibition catalogue, Milwaukee, 2011-2012, pp.84-85, pl.20; Klaus Albrecht Schröder and Christine Ekelhart, ed., Impressionism: Pastels, Watercolours, Drawings, exhibition catalogue, Vienna, 2012, pp.122-123, pl.41. 12. Kendall, op.cit., p.99.

No.8 Edgar Degas 1.

At the fourth Degas studio sale in July 1919, the present sheet was framed and sold together with a pastel study of houses at the foot of a hill (Lemoisne, op.cit., Vol.II, pp.114-115, no.231). The pair sold for 3,300 francs, and both pastel landscapes shared the same subsequent provenance until 2008.

2.

In his 1993 book on Degas’s landscapes, Richard Kendall notes that eight of the Normandy pastels are signed and dated 1869, and a ninth is signed but not dated. He was, however, unaware of the signature and date on the present sheet, which he had not traced.

3.

Kendall, op.cit., pp.90, fig.69 and p.282, note 35.

4.

Kendall, op.cit., p.99.

5.

Letter from Joseph Durand-Ruel to the Galerie Durand-Ruel, New York, dated 5 July 1919; Quoted in translation in Caroline DurandRuel Godfroy, ‘Behind the Scenes: Durand-Ruel and the Degas Sales’, in Ann Dumas et al, The Private Collection of Edgar Degas, exhibition catalogue, New York, 1997, p.268.


6.

‘Ils sont nombreux, car M. Comiot a su reconnaître que dans ce domaine, Degas n’était pas moins un maître que dans la représentation du corps humain…la plupart furent exécutés au bord de la mer, et nous montrent des grèves plates et désertes, des dunes à l’herbe rare et grise. Des sites aussi nus, aussi vides d’éléments plastiques, Degas tire des merveilles: n’est-ce pas là la marque du grand artiste?’; François Fosca, ‘La Collection Comiot’, L’amour de l’Art, April 1927, pp.113-114.

7.

‘...ces pastels sont bien plus voisins de ceux de Whistler. Comme le peintre des Nocturnes, Degas se détournait de la nature dès que le soleil y faisait ruisseler sa plus éclatante lumière. Une plage ocreuse et le bleu étouffé d’un ciel, alors que la brume marine voile le soleil, Degas, comme Whistler, n’en demandait pas davantage.’; Fosca, ibid., p.115.

8.

E-mail correspondence, July 2011.

9.

Kendall, op.cit., p.86. Other pastel landscapes from this series are today in the collections of the Louvre and the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Nancy, the Albertina in Vienna, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, and elsewhere, as well as in several private collections.

No.9 Eva Gonzalès 1.

Ingrid Pfeiffer, ‘Impressionism Is Feminine: On the Reception of Morisot, Cassatt, Gonzales, and Bracquemond’, in Ingrid Pfeiffer and Max Hollein, ed., Women Impressionists. Berthe Morisot, Mary Cassatt, Eva Gonzalès, Marie Bracquemond, exhibition catalogue, Frankfurt and San Francisco, 2008, p.21.

2.

‘...un artiste d’un talent rare, qui prend le pinceau après avoir manié le pastel comme Rosalba.’; Jules Clarétie, Peintres et sculpteurs contemporains, Paris, 1874, p.263.

3.

‘C’est la simplicité; c’est la sincérité; c’est la sérénité. Aucune mièvrerie de femme, aucun désir de faire jolie et sympatique, et pourtant quel charme exquis.’; Octave Mirbeau in Paris, Bernheim-Jeune & Cie., op.cit., pp.5-7; Quoted in translation in Holm, op.cit., p.33.

4.

‘Merveilleux pastels, écrasés à la manière du bonhomme Chardin, avec de subtiles hardiesses, les tons rompus, délicats, se fondent en douces harmonies...et le dessin viril.’; Paul Bayle, ‘Eva Gonzalès’, La Renaissance, 6 June 1932, p.115; Quoted in translation in Holm, op.cit., p.36.

5.

Thomson, op.cit., p.605.

6.

Sainsaulieu, op.cit., pp.216-217, no.98.

7.

‘J’aime beaucoup les deux études de mariées, qui sont d’une fraîcheur et d’un esprit tendre, délicieux à regarder. Je retrouve-là, dans la douceur des tons, dans le jeu de la lumière sur l’étoffe blanche et le nuage transparent des voiles, une caresse particulière.’; Mirbeau, op.cit., 1885, p.2.

8.

A pastel portrait of Jeanne Gonzalès, formerly in the collection of Adolphe Stein, was recently sold at auction in Paris and is today in the collection of Diane Wilsey in San Francisco (Anonymous sale (‘Une Collection Privée des Dessins 1500-1900’), Paris, Christie’s, 22 March 2007, lot 346 [sold for €528,000]; Sainsaulieu, op.cit., pp.218-219, no.99; Lloyd, op.cit., illustrated in colour p.107, pl.48).

9.

Jeanne Gonzalès posed as a milliner, for example, for the pastel Une Modiste in the Art Institute of Chicago (Sainsaulieu, op.cit., pp.264265, no.123).

10. Grant, op.cit., p.209. 11. ‘C’est sa robe de satin blanc, les ornements de sa coiffure de mariée, qu’elle chargera par deux fois Jeanne de porter. On dirait qu’elle s’est observée et rêvée à travers ce double d’elle-même qu’elle aimait, rudoyait, transformait à sa guise, de manière à en faire vingt soeurs différentes d’elle...’; Roger-Marx, op.cit., unpaginated (p.20). 12. ‘Elle atteint à une véritable maîtrise du pastel: ses Demoiselles d’honneur ou ses Mariées le prouvent; elle procède par touches parallèles qui enferment les ombres et les lumières dans la continuité de leurs stries; elle aime les tonalités claires, les nuances aux gris atténués, mais colorés, les scènes de tranquille intimité, et certains de ces pastels sont d’excellentes oeuvres.’; Hautecoeur, op.cit., p.115. 13. ‘des petits portraits de femmes au pastel (La femme au chapeau rouge, Mariée, Demoiselle d’honneur, Le Bouquet de Violettes)...tous charmants de candeur, d’un accent très personnel et, sans qu’il y paraisse, d’étonnante virtuosité dans la brusquerie et l’économie uniforme de leur exécution.’; Monod, op.cit., p.3.

No.10 Camille Pissarro 1.

Richard Brettell and Christopher Lloyd, A Catalogue of the Drawings by Camille Pissarro in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, Oxford, 1980, p.54.

2.

Christopher Lloyd, ‘The Impact of Impressionism’, in Christopher Lloyd and Richard Thomson, Impressionist Drawings from British Public and Private Collections, exhibition catalogue, Oxford and elsewhere, 1986, p.15.

3.

Pissarro and Durand-Ruel Snollaerts, op.cit., Vol.II, p.68, under no.51.


4.

Pissarro and Durand-Ruel Snollaerts, op.cit., Vol.II, p.68, under no.51.

5.

‘Quelques très beaux pastels peuvent être groupés vers 1874. Ils sont typiques par la fraîcheur de l’inspiration, la liberté de la touche, la valeur imaginative de l’impression.’; Pissarro and Venturi, op.cit., Vol.I, p.41.

6.

Anonymous sale, London, Sotheby’s, 21 June 2005, lot 117 (sold for £72,000); Pissarro and Venturi, op.cit., Vol.I, p.290, no.1521, Vol.II, pl.293, no.1521; Christopher Lloyd, Impressionism: Pastels, Watercolors, Drawings, exhibition catalogue, Milwaukee, 2011-2012, p.125, pl.70; Klaus Albrecht Schröder and Christine Ekelhart, ed., Impressionism: Pastels, Watercolours, Drawings, exhibition catalogue, Vienna, 2012, p.197, pl.105 (in the collection of David and Susan Gradel).

7.

Pissarro and Venturi, op.cit., Vol.I, p.290, no.1522, Vol.II, pl.293, no.1522; Anonymous sale, New York, Sotheby’s, 6 November 2002, lot 107 (sold for $202,000).

8.

Pissarro and Durand-Ruel Snollaerts, op.cit., Vol.II, pp.68-69, no.51.

9.

John Rewald, The History of Impressionism, London, 1980, illustrated p.207; London, Hayward Gallery, and elsewhere, Camille Pissarro 1830-1903, exhibition catalogue, 1980-1981, p.245, no.222. Piette also painted a a bust-length portrait of Pissarro, today in a private collection (Janine Bailly-Herzberg, Mon cher Pissarro, Lettres de Ludovic Piette à Camille Pissarro, Paris, 1985, illustrated facing p.64).

No.11 Berthe Morisot 1.

Denis Rouart, ‘The Drawings of Berthe Morisot’, in Mongan et al, Berthe Morisot: Drawings/Pastels/Watercolors/Paintings, exhibition catalogue, Boston and elsewhere, 1960-1961, p.20.

2.

Paul Mantz, Le Salon de 1863: III’, Gazette des Beaux-Arts, 1 July 1863, p.38; Quoted in translation in Charles F. Stuckey and William P. Scott, Berthe Morisot, Impressionist, exhibition catalogue, Washington and elsewhere, 1987 p.70.

3.

Marianne Mathieu, ‘Watercolours, pastels and drawings in the work of Berthe Morisot’, in Paris, Musée Marmottan Monet, Berthe Morisot, exhibition catalogue, 2012, pp.19 and 26.

4.

Julie Manet, Journal (1893-1899), Paris, 1979, p.79; Quoted in translation in Mathieu, ibid., p.49.

5.

Quoted in translation in Jean-Dominique Rey, Berthe Morisot, Paris, 2010, p.94.

6.

Ibid., p.134.

7.

Philippe Burty, in L’Art moderne, 19 March 1882; Quoted in Mathieu, op.cit., p.28.

8.

Rey, op.cit., p.99.

9.

Inv. UEA 3; Bataille and Wildenstein, op.cit., p.55, no.496, fig.463 (‘Isabelle’), where dated 1885; Christopher Lloyd and Richard Thomson, Impressionist Drawings from British Public and Private Collections, exhibition catalogue, Oxford and elsewhere, 1986, no.44, pl.67; Steven Hooper, ed., Robert and Lisa Sainsbury Collection. Vol.I: European 19th and 20th Century Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture, Norwich, 1997, pp.192-193, no.111. Isabelle Lambert was a teenage model who posed for a number of Morisot’s pictures.

No.12 Armand Point 1.

‘Point...est un des grands avenirs de l’art contemporain; et dans la voie sexuelle, dans la peinture de la femme, je n’en sais pas de plus nerveusement doué.’; Quoted in Doré, op.cit., 2010, p.37.

2.

Stuart Merrill, ‘Notes sur l’art décoratif et Armand Point’, La Vogue, April 1899; Quoted in translation in London, Hayward Gallery and Liverpool, Walker Art Gallery, French Symbolist Painters: Moreau, Puvis de Chavannes, Redon and their followers, exhibition catalogue, 1972, p.97.

3.

‘Alors se révèle en 1892 au Salon du Champ-de-Mars et à la Rose-Croix une exquise et pénétrante série de pastels feminins. Peintes dans une manière légère, souple, aisée, vaporeuse, des faces de rêve, de tristesse, de suavité, de langueur apparaissent dans un enlacement de fleurs dont le caprice décoratif s’atténue..des femmes légères et moites de clarté se tiennent par les mains en silence. C’est un peuple mystérieux et touchant qui se lève de l’âme d’un poète et vient vers nous à travers le cristal des cadres: il n’y a’ a plus ici ni préoccupation d’habileté technique, ni parti-pris d’école, on ne pense plus à la manière, au procédé, au style. Un pastelliste ravissant et câlin enveloppe dans une atmosphere de rêve ses figures; les valeurs sont justes, les passages de tons très-subtils, les clairs obscurs constamment heureux, la tonalité frêle et suave, sans éclats inutiles, harmonisée dans des gammes claires, roses, grises, dorées et violacées, mais on n’y pense pas; le sentiment poétique domine tout chez ce peintre sentimental qui a l’audace de ne ressembler à personne tout en n’étant ni impressionniste, ni classique, ni réaliste, ni élève de Whistler, ni rien de classé. Le succès vient, subit, complet.’; Camille Mauclair, ‘Armand Point: peintre, fresquiste, emailleur, orfèvre’, La Revue des revues, 15 May 1900, pp.361-362.

4.

‘...des oeuvres essentielles de l’artiste, dans sa période artistique la plus brillante, témoins de la tendresse profonde qui les unit et de l’enthousiasme qu’ils suscitèrent à Marlotte.’; Doré, op.cit., 2010, p.40.


5.

‘Durant les années 1892-1893, l’artiste multiplie les représentations féminines, celles d’ Hélène Linder et d’autres modèles...Il focalise son attention sur le buste et le visage de ses modèles, comme c’est le cas au SNBA de 1893. L’atmosphère devient plus irréelle, plus éthérée; la pleine lumière du jour fait souvent place à celles des flous crépusculaires ou de la nuit inquiétante, plus propices aux vagabondages de l’esprit. À cette fin, l’artiste use alors très souvent de la technique du pastel avec une palette assez sourde. La femme en âme devient réalite!’

6.

Anonymous sale, London, Christie’s, 19 October 1990, lots 74 (La femme à la violette, dated 1892) and 75 (La femme à la toilette, dated 1921); Anonymous sale, London, Sotheby’s, 19 June 1991, lots 216 (La femme à la violette) and 219 (La femme à la toilette); Doré, op.cit., 2010, p.31, fig.24 and p.36, fig.28, respectively. Each pastel measured 470 x 380 mm. Although the first of these is dated 1892 and the second bears the date 1921, Robert Doré has preferred to date both pastels to 1892.

No.13 Édouard Vuillard 1.

Guy Cogeval, ‘Backward Glances’, in Guy Cogeval, Édouard Vuillard, exhibition catalogue, Washington and elsewhere, 2003-2004, pp.4-8.

2.

Salomon and Cogeval, op.cit., Vol.I, p.421, No.V-85.

3.

Salomon and Cogeval, op.cit., Vol.I, p.424, No.V-89.

4.

Salomon and Cogeval, op.cit., Vol.I, p.425, No.V-91.

5.

Salomon and Cogeval, op.cit., Vol.I, p.421, under No.V-85.

6.

Marie-Blanche de Polignac, ‘Édouard Vuillard, souvenirs’, in Hommage à Marie-Blanche, comtesse Jean de Polignac, Monaco, 1965, p.135; Quoted in translation in Salomon and Cogeval, op.cit., Vol.I, p.422, under no.V-87. The painting by Vuillard for which the present sheet was exchanged in 1928 is illustrated in Salomon and Cogeval, op.cit., Vol.II, p.773, No.VII-474 (location unknown). An opera singer and the only daughter of the couturier Jeanne Lanvin, Marie-Blanche de Polignac was the subject of a large portrait painted by Vuillard between 1928 and 1932, today in the collection of the Musée d’Orsay in Paris (Inv. RF 1977-398; Salomon and Cogeval, op.cit., Vol.III, pp.14781379, no.XII-55 (where dated 1928-1932); Cogeval, op.cit., pp.388-389, no.320; Richard R. Brettell, ‘Vuillard, Proust and Portraiture’, in Stephen Brown, Edouard Vuillard: A Painter and his Muses, 1890-1940, exhibition catalogue, New York, 2012, illustrated p.94).

No.14 William Degouve de Nuncques 1.

Claude Arnaud, ‘Stardust’, in Paris, Musée d’Orsay, Mystery and Glitter: Pastels in the Musée d’Orsay, exhibition catalogue, 2008-2009, p.22.

2.

Namur, Musée Félicien Rops and Otterlo, Kröller-Müller Museum, William Degouve de Nuncques: maître du mystère, exhibition catalogue, 2012, illustrated p.34. The pastel measures 355 x 550 cm.

3.

Inv. KM 110.638; Ibid., illustrated p.48. The pastel measures 600 x 870 cm.

4.

Inv. OM 44; William Hauptman, La Belgique dévoilée: de l’impressionnisme à l’expressionnisme, exhibition catalogue, Lausanne, 2007, no.14, illustrated in colour p.117; Namur and Otterlo, op.cit., illustrated p.36. The painting measures 492 x 66.7 cm.

5.

Namur and Otterlo, op.cit., illustrated pp.30-31. This large pastel, measuring 800 x 1200 mm., was with Galerie Patrick Derom in 2012.

No.15 Alfred Sisley 1.

A certificate from the late François Daulte, dated 22 September 1987, accompanies the present sheet.

2.

Christopher Lloyd, ‘Alfred Sisley and the Purity of Vision’, in MaryAnne Stevens, ed., Alfred Sisley, exhibition catalogue, London, Paris and Baltimore, 1992-1993, p.22.

3.

Letter of 22 January 1899; Quoted in translation in Lloyd, ibid., p.32, note 14.

4.

Quoted in Burnley Bibb, ‘The Work of Alfred Sisley’, The Studio, December 1899, p.149.

5.

Shone, op.cit., p.153.

6.

Coudray, op.cit., p.64.

7.

François Daulte, Alfred Sisley: Catalogue raisonné de l’oeuvre peint, Lausanne, 1959, unpaginated, no.869. The painting measures 65 x 81 cm. and is signed and dated Sisley 97.

8.

Quoted in translation in Reed, op.cit., p.W25.


9.

‘Le maître impressionniste rapporte en effet, de Penarth et de la baie de Langland, une série des marines admirables, où la saveur étrange de cette contrée, peu visitée des peintres, est rendue avec un art aussi captivant que personnel. C’est dire que l’atelier du célèbre peintre de Moret va recevoir la visite de nombreux admirateurs.’; Quoted by Janine Bailly-Hertzberg, ed., Correspondance de Camille Pissarro, Vol.V (18951898), Paris, 1989, p.398; quoted in translation in MaryAnne Stevens, ed., op.cit. p.252, under no.73 (entry by Sylvie Patin).

10. Ann Sumner, ‘Sisley’s Views of Wales Lost and Found’, in Christopher Riopelle and Ann Sumner, Sisley in England and Wales, exhibition catalogue, London and Cardiff, 2008-2009, pp.30-32.

No.16 Edgar Degas 1.

Anne F. Maheux, ‘Looking into Degas’s Pastel Technique’, in Jean Sutherland Boggs and Anne Maheux, Degas Pastels, London, 1992, p.32.

2.

Lemoisne, op.cit., nos. 1233 ad 1234; Sutherland Boggs et al., op.cit., 1988-1989, p.548, fig.310 and pp.550-551, no.341, respectively. The latter is also illustrated in colour in George T. M. Shackelford and Xavier Rey, Degas and the Nude, exhibition catalogue, Boston and Paris, 2011-2012, p.9.

3.

Inv.1980-6-1; Kendall, op.cit., p.242, no.57; Shackelford and Rey, op.cit., p.200, fig.217; Schwander, ed., op.cit., illustrated p.151; Christopher Lloyd, Edgar Degas: Drawings and Pastels, London, 2014, p.274, fig.205. The painting measures 89.5 x 116.8 cm.

4.

Inv. 84.XM.495.2; Antoine Terrasse, Degas et la photographie, Paris, 1983, p.75, pl.25; Sutherland Boggs et al., op.cit., 1988-1989, p.549, no.340 and pp.550-551, no.341; Daniel, op.cit., pp.41-42, no.40a, pl.36; Martin Gayford, ‘Lucian Freud Talks about Degas’, in Shackelford and Rey, op.cit., p.xx, fig.3. The print measures 165 x 120 mm.

5.

Sutherland Boggs et al., op.cit., 1988-1989, p.548.

6.

‘Degas était très préoccupé de la justesse des mouvements et des attitudes, il les étudiait longtemps. Je l’ai vu, avec un modèle, chercher à lui faire poser le mouvement de la femme qui s’essuie, renversée sur le haut dossier capitonné d’une chaise couverte d’un peignoir de bain. Ce mouvement est compliqué. On voit les deux omoplates, la femme étant de dos, mais l’épaule droite, comprimée par le poids du corps, affecte un dessin fort imprévu, qui fait penser à une sorte de travail acrobatique et d’effort violent...Il affectionnait ces poses; elles amènent à l’esprit une idée de souffrance “agréable” si je puis dire, dans l’accomplissement du devoir de propreté chère à la femme civilisée, elles sont rares parce que généralement secrètes. En somme c’est Degas, avec son observation aiguë, qui le premier a fait entrer dans le domaine artistique ces poses et ces mouvements qui atteignent souvent à un grand caractère.’; Georges Jeanniot, ‘Souvenirs sur Degas’, Revue universelle, 15 October – 1 November 1933, p.159; quoted in Terrasse, op.cit., pp.45-46.

7.

Daniel, op.cit., p.42.

8.

Sutherland Boggs, op.cit., 1967, p.208, under no.138.

9.

Inv.226; Rouart, op.cit., pp.27-28, pl.27. The drawing measures 315 x 245 mm.

10. Richard Kendall, ‘The Reclusive Radical: Degas in Old Age’, in Schwander, ed., op.cit., p.228 11. Shackelford and Rey, op.cit., p.173. 12. André Mellerio, ‘Un Album de 20 reproductions d’après des dessins de M. Degas’, L’Estampe et l’affiche, 15 April 1898, p.81; Quoted in translation in Tinterow, op.cit., pp.92-96. 13. Thadée Natanson, ‘Petite Gazette d’art’, La Revue Blanche, 15 April 1898, p.629; Quoted in translation in Tinterow, op.cit., p.96. 14. Janine Bailly-Herzberg, Correspondance de Camille Pissarro, Vol.IV: 1895-1898, Paris, 1989, p.439; Quoted in translation in Kendall, op.cit., p.51. 15. Comiot presented paintings by Degas, Renoir and Corot to the Louvre. 16. ‘L’artiste qui y est le plus abondamment représenté, c’est Degas. On sent la prédilection que M. Cormiot a toujours eue pour ce grand maître, prédilection des plus averties, qui lui a permis de ne pas se spécialiser. Chez M. Comiot, Degas est représenté de la façon la plus variée: scènes de mœurs, portraits, danseuses, nus, paysages, intérieurs, qui nous renseignent aussi bien sur les débuts du peintre que sur ses derniers travaux.’; Fosca, op.cit., p.111.

No.17 William Rothenstein 1.

William Rothenstein, Men and Memories: Recollections of William Rothenstein, 1900-1922, London, 1932, pp.23-24.

2.

John Rothenstein, Modern English Painters, Vol.I, 1952 (1984 ed.), p.108.


3.

The other pastel, measuring 225 x 335 mm., depicted a landscape with a mountainous background (Julius Stern sale, Berlin, Galerie Paul Cassirer, 22 May 1916, lot 156 (‘Landschaft mit Gebirgshintergrund’).

4.

Dispersed at auction in 1916, Stern’s collection included paintings, drawings and prints by such artists as Maurice Denis, Paul Gauguin, Vincent van Gogh, Max Liebermann, Claude Monet, Edvard Munch and Emil Nolde, among others.

No.18 Claude Monet 1.

Ganz and Kendall, op.cit., p.112.

2.

‘Je voudrais même essayer d’y peindre quelques effets de brouillard sur la Tamise.’; Daniel Wildenstein, Claude Monet: Biographie et catalogue raisonné, Lausanne and Paris, 1974-1985, Vol.III, letter 797.

3.

The stone bridge painted by Monet was demolished for structural reasons in 1934 and was rebuilt in 1945.

4.

René Gimpel, Diary of an Art Dealer, New York, 1966, p.129.

5.

Wildenstein, op.cit., 1974-1985, letter 1523; Quoted in translation in Grace Seiberling, Monet in London, exhibition catalogue, Atlanta, 1988-1989, p.54.

6.

Letter of 26 January 1901; Wildenstein, op.cit., 1974-1985, letter 1588; Quoted in translation in Sylvie Patin, ‘The Return of Whistler and Monet to the Thames’, in Katharine Lochnan, Turner Whistler Monet, exhibition catalogue, Toronto and elsewhere, 2004-2005, p.189.

7.

Letter of 27 January 1901; Wildenstein, op.cit., 1974-1985, letter 1589; Quoted in translation in Patin, ibid., p.189.

8.

Letter of 28 January 1901, Wildenstein, op.cit., 1974-1985, letter 1590; Quoted in translation in Patin, op.cit., p.189.

9.

Letter of 1 Feb. 1901, Wildenstein, op.cit., 1974-1985, letter 1591; Quoted in translation in Patin, op.cit., p.189.

10. Wildenstein, op.cit., 1991, pp.173-175, nos. P89-P105. Another pastel by Monet of Waterloo Bridge, unrecorded in the Wildenstein catalogue raisonné, was with Stephen Ongpin Fine Art in 2009 (Christopher Lloyd, Impressionism: Pastels, Watercolors, Drawings, exhibition catalogue, Milwaukee, 2011, illustrated in colour p.121, pl.63). 11. Ganz and Kendall, op.cit., pp.255-257. 12. Ganz and Kendall, op.cit., p.256. 13. Ganz and Kendall, op.cit., p.117. 14. Ganz and Kendall, op.cit., p.259.

No.19 Francesco Paolo Michetti 1.

Marina Miraglia, L’ultimo Michetti (1900-1929), exhibition catalogue, Rome, Galleria Carlo Virgilio, 2005, p.35.

2.

Ibid., p.32, no.16, illustrated p.19, fig.16.

3.

Maria Grazia Tolomeo Speranza, ‘L’apertura al moderno’, in Rome, Palazzo Venezia and Francavilla al Mare, Museo Michetti and Palazzo San Domenico, Francesco Paolo Michetti: Dipinti, pastelli, disegni, exhibition catalogue, 1999, illustrated p.47. The paintings are now lost.

No.20 Lucien Lévy-Dhurmer 1.

Gabriel Mourey, ‘A Dream Painter: M. L. Lévy-Dhurmer’, The Studio, February 1897, p.11.

2.

Jean-David Jumeau-Lafond, ‘Symbolisms’, in Paris, Musée d’Orsay, Mystery and Glitter: Pastels in the Musée d’Orsay, exhibition catalogue, 2008-2009, p.130.

3.

A large mountain view, commissioned for the home of a private collector in Paris, was sent by Lévy-Dhurmer to the Salon de la Société Nationale in 1911, while at the Salon des Pastellistes Français the following year he exhibited four Impressions de montagnes. Two comparable pastel drawings of mountain views by Lévy-Dhurmer, similar in dimensions and composition to the present sheet, appeared at auction in 1983 (Anonymous sales, New York, Sotheby’s, 24 February 1983, lots 177 and 198).

4.

Paris, Grand Palais, Autour de Lévy-Dhurmer: Visionnaires et Intimistes en 1900, exhibition catalogue, 1973, p.63, no.96 (where dated to 1935). The drawing measures 480 x 700 mm., and was in the collection of M. and Mme. Wladimir Zagorowsky, Paris, at the time of the 1973 exhibition.


5.

Ibid., p.63, no.95. The pastel was also in the Zagorowsky collection in Paris in 1973.

6.

Inv. RF 54402; Paris, Musée d’Orsay, op.cit., illustrated p.161; La revue du Musée d’Orsay, Autumn/Winter 2009, pp.46-47 (entry by Philippe Saunier), where dated 1925. The pastel measures 570 x 720 mm.

7.

‘En 1925, puis de nouveau en 1935, l’artiste exécute en Savoie une série de paysages: lacs Léman, du Bourget, de Garde. Le traitement au pastel permet d’opérer une véritable transfiguration poétique des lieux. La matière poudreuse et délicate du pastel confère en effet un aspect tremblé, embué, dans lequel se noient les détails. La réalité, comme tenue à distance, cède le pas à une vision sublimée: par la vertue de l’estompe, l’eau, la terre (la montagne) et le ciel fusionment et échangent leurs propriétés. Cette communion des éléments crée un climat de mystère…Véritable variation sur le bleu – couleur spirituelle s’il en est -, ce paysage s’inscrit par ailleurs dans la descendance de Whistler (1834-1903). À sa manière, l’artiste s’aventure aux confins de la représentation et semble explorer les vertus de la couleur pour la couleur, dont le monochrome est l’aboutissement ultime.’; La revue du Musée d’Orsay, ibid., p.46.

No.21 Giuseppe Casciaro 1.

‘una straordinaria finezza percettiva e ad una solidita di tocco’; Alfredo Schettini, Giuseppe Casciaro, Naples, 1952, p.22.

2.

‘Un pastello di Casciaro ha del Bach e del Mozart; e talvolta è tragico e profondo, anche, come una commossa voce beethoveniana. Questa eleganza è deliziosa: questo spirito, questo gusto son rari: questa forza piacevole e sicura, non vi opprime ma vi trascina: e la voce di questo adorabile artista ha tutti gli accenti: ha la foga ed il sospiro, l’impeto e la tenerezza, un grido e un sussurro.’

No.22 Édouard Vuillard 1.

Richard Brettell in Richard R. Brettell, et al., The Robert Lehman Collection, Vol.IX: Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century European Drawings, New York, 2002, p.298.

2.

Claude Roger-Marx, Vuillard: His Life and Work, New York, 1946, p.185.

3.

Jacques Salomon, Vuillard, Paris, 1968, p.121, quoted in Salomon and Cogeval, Vol.II, p.1065, under no.IX-80.

4.

For pastels of similar subjects, see Salomon and Cogeval, op.cit., Vol.III, pp.1066-1071, nos.IX-81-IX-91 and pp.1078-1079, nos.IX103-IX-106.

5.

MaryAnne Stevens in Guy Cogeval, Édouard Vuillard, exhibition catalogue, Washington and elsewhere, 2003-2004, p.326, under no.280.

6.

Vuillard painted a large portrait of the Weil children with their mother in 1922-1923 (Salomon and Cogeval, op.cit., Vol.III, pp.13481349, no.XI-103) and also produced pastel portraits of both Prosper-Emile and Juliette Weil between 1926 and 1928 (Salomon and Cogeval, op.cit., Vol.III, p.1350, no.XI-104 and pp.1351-1355, nos.XI-105 to XI-114), as well as pastel portraits of the Weil children several years later, in 1939 (Salomon and Cogeval, op.cit., Vol.III, pp.1540-1541, nos.XII-155 to XII-157).

No.23 Ker-Xavier Roussel 1.

‘K.-X. Roussel est de tous les peintres actuels le seul en vérité qui continue Cézanne…la magnificence de ses mythologies rejoint à travers Cézanne celle des palais romains, qu’il n’a jamais vues; il fait du Poussin sur nature; et naturellement aussi il a la grâce du Guide et la noblesse d’Annibal Carrache.’; Maurice Denis, ‘L’Influence de Cézanne’, L’Amour de l’Art, December 1920, p.281; Quoted in translation in John House and MaryAnne Stevens, ed., Post Impressionism: Cross-Currents in European Painting, exhibition catalogue, London, 1979-1980, p.126, under no.183.

2.

Denys Sutton, ‘Roussel: Painter of the Pastoral’, in London, Wildenstein, Ker Xavier Roussel: An Exhibition, 1964, pp.3 and 8.

No.24 Edvard Munch 1.

Inv. MM M 749; Ragna Stang, Edvard Munch: The man and the artist, London, 1979, pp.278-279, pl.357; Sidsel Helliesen, ‘Technical aspects of Munch’s prints and drawings’, in Magne Bruteig and Ute Kuhlemann Falck, ed., Edvard Munch: Works on Paper, exhibition catalogue, Oslo, 2013-2014, p.53.p.56, fig.56. The pastel measures 800 x 600 mm.

2.

Marianne Yvenes and Ellen Lerberg, ed., Edvard Munch in the National Museum, Oslo, 2008, p.11.

3.

Quoted in translation in ibid., p.60.

4.

Stang, op.cit., pp.70-71, pl.82; Gerd Woll, Edvard Munch: Complete Paintings. Catalogue raisonné, Vol.I 1880-1897, London, 2009, pp.188189, no.182. The painting measures 126.5 x 161.5 cm.

5.

See, for example, two paintings of rocks on a beach, both in private collections; Woll, op.cit., Vol.I, pp.184-185, nos.177 (Beach Landscape from Åsgårdstrand) and 178 (Beach).


6.

Woll, op.cit., Vol.I, p.265, no.283. Later variants of this composition were painted by Munch in 1905 and 1935.

7.

Woll, op.cit., Vol.I, p.299, no.318.

8.

Inv. M 2382; Stang, op.cit., pp.162-163, fig.209. The drawing measures 290 x 420 mm.

9.

Quoted in translation in Yvenes and Lerberg, op.cit., p.26.

No.25 František Kupka 1.

Alfred H. Barr, Jr., Cubism and Abstract Art, exhibition catalogue, New York, Museum of Modern Art, 1936, pp.73-74.

2.

Jaroslav And l, ‘A Wanderer between Chaos and Order’, in Jaroslav And l and Dorothy Kosinski, Painting the Universe: František Kupka: Pioneer in Abstraction, exhibition catalogue, Dallas and elsewhere, 1997-1998, p.85.

3.

The present sheet is accompanied by a photo-certificate from Pierre Brullé, who dates the drawing to c.1920.

4.

Inv. AM 3213 P; Ibid., p.208, no.124, fig.124. The painting measures 194 x 200 cm.

No.26 Simon Bussy 1.

Philippe Loisel, Simon Bussy (1870-1954). L’Esprit du Trait: du Zoo à la Gentry, exhibition catalogue, Beauvais and elsewhere, 1996, p.39, note 46.

2.

‘Il est assez surprenant que notre temps, qui a vu paraître tant d’excellents sculpteurs animaliers, soit si pauvre en peintres animaliers. Aux animaux domestiques ou familiers, Bussy préfère les animaux exotiques: les serpents, beaux comme un objet d’art dû à une civilisation raffinée...’; François Fosca, Simon Bussy, Paris, 1930, p.13.

3.

Fosca, ibid., illustrated p.41 (as in the collection of Mme. Bouché); Philippe Loisel, Simon Bussy (1870-1954). L’esprit du trait: du zoo à la gentry, exhibition catalogue, Beauvais and elsewhere, 1996, pp.119-120, no.108, illustrated in colour p.100.

No.27 Simon Bussy 1.

‘Chacune d’elles est une invention, un composition poétique, non point uniquement décorative…les animaux que je peins et les feuillages qui les entourent…il n’est aucun des éléments dont je dispose à mon gré qui n’ait été l’objet d’une patiente observation; et mes nombreuses études au pastel, faites en vue de ces tableaux, le prouvent. Mes animaux, oiseaux, reptiles, n’ont rien de fantaisiste; ce sont de véritables portraits où je veux que la ressemblance se dégage de l’accidentel avec toujours plus de netteté, de precision, de pureté.’; Simon Bussy, quoted in François Fosca, Simon Bussy, Paris, 1930, p.8, and Philippe Loisel, Simon Bussy (1870-1954). L’Esprit du Trait: du Zoo à la Gentry, exhibition catalogue, Beauvais and elsewhere, 1996, p.87.

2.

Andre Gide, ‘Simon Bussy’, in London, Ernest Brown & Phillips Ltd. (The Leicester Galleries), Oiseaux, Poissons, Fleurs et Animaux: An Exhibition of Paintings by Simon Bussy, exhibition catalogue, October 1949, pp.2-3.

3.

‘Les pastels de Simon Bussy sont de délicates images, précieuses comme des miniatures persanes. La netteté et la fraîcheur de Simon Bussy sont les caractéristiques de son talent, et son coloris chante parfois aussi haut que celui de Matisse.’; Guillaume Apollinaire, ‘La Vie artistique’, in L’Intransigeant, 21 February 1913; Quoted in François Fosca, Simon Bussy, Paris, 1930, p.16.

4.

‘Simon Bussy a révélé une manière nouvelle: ce procédé qui semble par essence vaporeux et indécis, il l’applique à un dessin d’une précision minutieuse. Chez lui, jamais de hachures, de touches verticales, qui viennent alléger le ton de dessous ou le faire vibrer. Bussy élabore une matière ouatée, veloutée, qui pourtant évite toujours la mollesse et le cotonneux.’; Fosca, ibid., p.12.

5.

Anonymous sale, London, Phillips, 5 November 1991, lot 17. The painting, which measures 22 x 16 cm., was signed and dated 1941, and was further inscribed Poissons coraillies jaun on the stretcher.

No.28 Firmin Baes 1.

‘Contemplez une nature morte de Firmin Baes, extraordinairement vraie dans ses tonalités, dans la matière même de ses objets. On touche véritablement des yeux la rondeur luisante de la porcelaine translucide, le rugueux de l’orange, le moelleux du tapis de velours.’

2.

Georgette Naegels-Delfosse, Firmin Baes, Brussels, 1987, p.138. The pastel measures 800 x 600 mm.

3.

Anonymous sale, Brussels, Hôtel de Ventes Horta, 8 November 2010, lot 30.


4.

‘La galerie du Studio présente une série d’oeuvres nouvelles de ce pastelliste qui, en écrasant d’un pouce subtil sur le papier ou sur la toile des craies aux tons choisis, arrive à des finesses, à des douceurs ou à des intensités auxquelles la peinture à l’huile n’atteint pas toujours avec le même bonheur et rarement avec la même réussite de matières...Je veux parler...surtout de ses Champignons où les vertus du pastel ont excellé à reproduire sur le fond bleu et près du broc de grès noir...’; Richard Dupierreux, Le Soir, 8 February 1932; Quoted in NaegelsDelfosse, op.cit., p.214.

No.29 Erich Wolfsfeld 1.

Michael Chase, ‘Skill and Performance’ [exhibition review], Art News and Review, 25 October 1958, p.14.

2.

Giles Auty, in London, Belgrave Gallery, Erich Wolfsfeld, 1995, p.3.

No.30 Sam Szafran 1.

‘Si j’avais su ce qui m’attendait, avoue Szafran, je n’aurais sans doute jamais acheté ma première boîte de pastels. Je me suis retrouvé, en 1958, au sortir de l’art abstrait, devant ces petits bâtonnets multicolores comme un enfant pauvre dans un “delicatessen” belge ou suisse, au milieu d’un foisonnement de bonbons et de gâteaux, et je m’en suis emparé avec une totale inconscience. Pendant vingt ans, je me suis acharné sur cette technique, parce que je ne pouvais pas la dominer.’; Gilles Néret, ‘Szafran ou la passion du pastel’, Connaissance des Arts, March 1980, p.92.

2.

‘Un soir, je travaillais dans cet escalier - j’ai toujours vécu dans les escaliers - et je m’étais endormi. Il faisait nuit. Et j’ai eu un cauchemar. Je me suis réveillé. C’était la pleine lune, et il y avait une ombre portée de la fenêtre sur les marches de l’escalier. J’ai vu d’un seul coup. J’étais passé mille fois sans la voir, et subitement je l’ai vue. Alors j’ai décidé de la dessiner. Mais ça bougeait toutes les trois minutes…La Terre tourne…Il y avait la lumière, ici, découpée, et tout le reste était dans le noir. Je dessinais jusqu’à ce que tout tombe dans le noir, en m’aidant d’une lampe de poche. A un moment donné, tout ce qui était très sombre devenait très clair, et tout ce qui était très clair devenait très sombre. Alors, pour pouvoir faire l’ensemble, je me suis mis à bouger. J’étais obligé de m’identifier à une araignée, qui monte et descends au bout de son fil.’; Jean Clair, ‘Entretien avec Sam Szafran’, in Jean Clair, Sam Szafran, exhibition catalogue, Martigny and Saint-Paul-de-Vence, 19992000, p.19.

3.

James Lord, ‘Seeing Szafran’, in New York, Claude Bernard Gallery, Sam Szafran: Recent Works, exhibition catalogue, 1987, pp.7-9.

4.

‘L’impression du vide, du vertige, est la plus forte sensation que j’ai jamais éprouvée. Cela explique peut-être pourquoi mes dessins ont toujours trait au vertige, et que souvent, devant mon sujet, je suis terrifié par l’appel du vide.’

5.

Kerchache sale, Paris, Drouot Montaigne [Pierre Bergé & Associés], 12 June 2010, lot 178 (sold for €47,121); Etienne Breton and Pascal Zuber, Pastels, exhibition catalogue, Paris and London, 2011, unpaginated, no.30. The pastel measures 210 x 140 mm. A similar pastel drawing, 290 x 180 mm., also recently appeared at auction (Anonymous sale, Paris, Christie’s, 5 December 2006, lot 95, sold for €38,400, and Anonymous sale, Brussels, Pierre Bergé & Associés, 16 December 2010, lot 448, sold for €45,150).

6.

Jean Clair, Sam Szafran, exhibition catalogue, Martigny and Saint-Paul-de-Vence, 1999-2000, no.70; Julia Drost and Werner Spies, ed., Sam Szafran, exhibition catalogue, Brühl, 2010-2011, p.101, no.36. The pastel measures 1540 x 1135 mm.

No.31 Joan Mitchell 1.

Jane Livingston, The Paintings of Joan Mitchell, exhibition catalogue, New York and elsewhere, 2002-2004, pp.37-38.

2.

Klaus Kertess, in Joan Mitchell: Pastel, exhibition catalogue, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 1992.

3.

Holland Cotter, ‘Art in Review: Joan Mitchell: Pastel’, The New York Times, 8 May 1992, p.C31.

No.32 David Hockney 1.

Marco Livingstone, ‘A Life in Portraits’, in David Hockney, Faces 1966-1984, exhibition catalogue, Los Angeles, 1987, unpaginated.

2.

Kay Heymer, ‘Ways of Looking’, in Marco Livingstone and Kay Heymer, Hockney’s Portraits and People, London, 2003, p.11.

3.

Hockney’s text continues: ‘His work has a liveliness and curiosity about European Art that is refreshing but I explained to him how European art had been influenced by the Japanese woodcut, so his curiosity and influence has a respectable history. I told Shinro of my own admiration for the contemporary artists of Japan who work in the traditional style. Unknown in Europe I had only seen their work on my visit to Japan in 1971. Shinro very kindly sends me books about their work, so an East West dialogue goes on. That a Japanese artist should travel to Europe and be influenced by it in a lively way is a repeat of the nineteenth century European’s travels to Japan (ie. by seeing the art) and being absorbed by it, so Shinro’s art is both untraditional in a Japanese sense, and yet in a wider sense of art’s universal language.’; Tokyo, Gallery Watari, Shinro Ohtake, 1982. Shinro Ohtake’s oeuvre is made up of books, collages, assemblages and paintings, revealing the inspiration not only of Hockney but also of such artists as Robert Rauschenberg, Kurt Schwitters, Jean Dubuffet and Jean-Michel Basquiat. In 2006 he was given a mid-career retrospective at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo.


5.

Barbara Stern Shapiro, ‘Hockney Works on Paper’, in Sarah Howgate and Barbara Stern Shapiro, David Hockney Portraits, exhibition catalogue, Boston and elsewhere, 2006-2007, p.62. Another pastel portrait of Shinro Ohtake by Hockney, dated 1988, recently appeared at auction (‘Property of Oak Brook Bank’), New York, Sotheby’s, 11 May 2006, lot 219; Anonymous sale, London, Phillip’s, 18 October 2008, lot 157). The Japanese artist also features with Hockney’s friend Gregory Evans in two large photographic collages made during a trip to Japan in February 1983; Gregory and Shinro on the Train to Nara (Tokyo, Nishimura Gallery, David Hockney: New Work with a Camera, exhibition catalogue, 1983, no.16) and Gregory and Shinro in Nara (see London, Sotheby’s, 12 November 2007, lot 268).

No.33 Christopher Bramham 1.

Lucian Freud owned several works by Bramham, and also painted a portrait of the artist and another of Bramham with two of his children.

2.

William Feaver, ‘Christopher Bramham’, in London, Browse & Darby, Christopher Bramham: New Work, 2004, unpaginated.

3.

Bramham had five one-man exhibitions, between 1992 and 2002, at Marlborough Fine Art in London. He has also exhibited at Browse and Darby and, more recently, at Jonathan Clark Fine Art, both in London.

4.

William Feaver, ‘Christopher Bramham’, in London, Jonathan Clark & Co., Christopher Bramham: New Work, 2012, unpaginated.

5.

London, Marlborough Fine Art, Christopher Bramham, exhibition catalogue, 1995-1996, nos.36 (The Ducks I) and 37 (The Ducks II); the former illustrated. The Ducks I is a pastel measuring 1552 x 540 mm., while The Ducks II is executed in watercolour, gouache and pastel, and measures 1295 x 505 mm. The Ducks II has recently appeared at auction (Anonymous sales, London, Christie’s, 26 May 2011, lot 160 and London, Christie’s, 11 July 2013, lot 174).

6.

Similar views of the garden at Richmond, all painted in oil on canvas, were included in Bramham’s next two Marlborough exhibitions, in 1999 and 2002 (London, Marlborough Fine Art, Christopher Bramham, 1999, nos.2-3, 9, 12-13 and 18-19, and London, Marlborough Fine Art, Christopher Bramham, 2002, no.1, entitled Gardens in Richmond, Last View).

7.

Emily Weeks, in McCaughey and Weeks, op.cit., p.60, under no.28.

8.

Ibid., p.63, under no.29.

9.

Brian Sewell, ‘Brilliance unseen for Bramham’, Evening Standard, 26 September 2002.


INDEX OF ARTISTS

BAES, Firmin; no.28 BECQ DE FOUQUIÈRES, Louise-Marie; no.6 BRAMHAM, Christopher; no.33 BUSSY, Simon; nos.26-27 CARRIERA, Rosalba; no.1 CASCIARO, Giuseppe; no.21 DEGAS, Edgar; nos.7-8 and 16 DEGOUVE DE NUNCQUES, William; no.14 GONZALÈS, Eva; no.9 HOCKNEY, David; no.32 HUET, Paul; no.4 KUPKA, František; no.25 LÉVY-DHURMER, Lucien; no.20 LINNELL, James Thomas; no.5 MARÉCHAL, Charles-Laurent; no.3 MICHETTI, Francesco Paolo; no.19 MITCHELL, Joan; no.31 MONET, Claude; no.18 MORISOT, Berthe; no.11 MUNCH, Edvard; no.24 PIERRE, Jean-Baptiste Marie; no.2 PISSARRO, Camille; no.10 POINT, Armand; no.12 ROTHENSTEIN, William; no.17 ROUSSEL, Ker-Xavier; no.23 SISLEY, Alfred; no.15 SZAFRAN, Sam; no.30 VUILLARD, Edouard; nos.13 and 22 WOLFSFELD, Erich; no.29


Firmin Baes (1874-1943) Still Life with Mushrooms and a Pitcher (Les Champignons) No.28


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The Art of Pastel  

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