Lot 10
  • 10

Félix Vallotton

100,000 - 150,000 EUR
bidding is closed


  • Félix Vallotton
  • Venise, l'Ancienne douane et le Grand Canal
  • stamped with the signature F. VALLOTTON (lower right) and illegible date
  • oil on canvas
  • 14 x 18 1/8 in.


Estate of the artist
Madeleine Lecomte de Nouÿ, Paris (step-daughter of the artist)
Jacques Rodrigues-Henriques, Paris (step-son of the artist)
Private collection, Paris (by descent from the above)
Thence by descent to the present owner


Paris, Sélection d'œuvres de la collection de Madame Jacques Lecomte de Nouÿ, 1937, no. 26, 27 or 28 (untitled Venise)


Marina Ducrey, Félix Vallotton 1865-1925, Catalogue raisonné de l'œuvre peint, vol. II, Lausanne, 2005, no. 446, illustrated p. 276

Catalogue Note

Venise, L’Ancienne Douane et le Grand Canal was probably part of the collection of Madeleine Lecomte de Nouy. She was the daughter of Gabrielle Bernheim, sister of the two founders of the Gallery of the same name. In 1899, Gabrielle married Vallotton in a second marriage. Thus, despite an imprecision in the catalogue, it is moreover very probable that it depicts one of the three views of Venice exhibited at Bernheim-Jeune in 1937.

Painted between the 17th and the 20th of December 1902, Venise, L’Ancienne Douane et le Grand Canal followed Vallotton’s discovery of the City of the Doges in 1890. In his travel note books he wrote “As for the rest, it is not this beauty that I expected, it is another much preferable one, to make a Venice of a similar chic, there we are. Grey green water, pale pink, yellow or white houses a lot of square roofed arches” (Vallotton, travel notebooks, extract).

Viewed from the steps of the basilica Santa Maria Della Salute, Venise, L’Ancienne Douane et le Grand Canal is a canvas adorned with a diffused neoclassicism. In the upper half of the work, there are tender chromatic tones similar to the admirable depictions of the Grand Tour by Corot. In the lower part, in addition to the audacious framing, the graphic motifs of the marble pavement of the Maritime Customs house create a powerful structuring element reminiscent of the strength of Vallotton’s beautiful etchings.