144
144

PROPERTY FROM A DISTINGUISHED PRIVATE FRENCH COLLECTION

Francis Picabia
PORT DE MER DANS LE MIDI, EFFET DE SOLEIL
Estimate
800,0001,200,000
LOT SOLD. 1,932,500 USD
JUMP TO LOT
144

PROPERTY FROM A DISTINGUISHED PRIVATE FRENCH COLLECTION

Francis Picabia
PORT DE MER DANS LE MIDI, EFFET DE SOLEIL
Estimate
800,0001,200,000
LOT SOLD. 1,932,500 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale

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Francis Picabia
1879 - 1953
PORT DE MER DANS LE MIDI, EFFET DE SOLEIL
Signed Picabia and dated 1907 (lower right)
Oil on canvas
78 3/4 by 107 1/4 in.
200.1 by 272.5 cm
Painted in 1907. 
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Provenance

Collection of the artist (and sold: Hôtel Drouot, Paris, March 8, 1909, lot 31)
Lévy Simons, Paris (acquired from the above sale)
Private Collection, France
Galerie Charles et André Bailly, Paris (acquired from the above)
Acquired from the above in 1988

Exhibited

Paris, Société des artistes français, 1907, no. 1263
Paris, Galeries Georges Petit, Exposition de tableaux par F. Picabia, 1907 (possibly)
Zurich, Kunsthaus Zürich, Francis Picabia. Notre tête est ronde pour permettre à la pensée de changer de direction, 2016, n.n., listed in the catalogue

Literature

Édouard André, "Francis Picabia: Exposition de Tableaux et Dessins, Février 1907" in L'Art décoratif, IX, Paris, 1907, p. 47
William A. Camfield, Francis Picabia: His Art, Life, and Times, Princeton, 1979, fig. 16, illustrated p. 11
Maria-Lluïsa Borràs, Picabia, Paris, 1985, no. 122, illustrated p. 62
William A. Camfield, Beverley Calté, Candace Clements, Arnauld Pierre & Pierre CaltéFrancis Picabia, Catalogue Raisonné, 1898-1914, vol. I, New Haven & London, 2014, no. 298, illustrated p. 260

Catalogue Note

During the first decade of the 1900s, Picabia painted a small number of significant monumental canvases depicting river and port scenes. As Gordon Hughes writes of another monumental work of this period, “Making this work all the more distinct are the saturated colors—cadmium yellows and reds, turquoise and sky blue, bright greens, and violet—that look as if they came straight out of the tube. Often used in small quantities, these sharp, almost garish hues are unlike anything one would find in a Sisley, Monet, or Pissarro. And at just over seven feet by ten feet, its imposing size all but dwarfs its Impressionist antecedents” (Gordon Hugues, “Francis Picabia, Once Removed” in Francis Picabia, Our Heads Are Round So Our Thoughts Can Change Direction (exhibition catalogue), Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2016, p. 27).

As William Camfield writes, already by the 1900s Picabia’s art and rapidly evolving aesthetic, drawing from Impressionism, Neo-Impressionism and Fauvism, “became an erratic course of conflicts between 'significant form' and 'emotional truth,' between spontaneous painterly instinct and deliberate craftsmanship, between sensuous indulgence with the visible world and private emotional-intellectual concerns” (William Camfield, op. cit., p. 16).

Picabia’s Impressionist period began in 1903 after he exhibited at the Salon des Indépendants, the Salon de Mai, the Salon d’Automne and the Salon Annuel du Cercle Volney, the combination of which garnered him critical acclaim and financial success. Contemporaneously, Picabia became entranced by Camille Pissarro and Alfred Sisley’s paintings, leading him to experiment with a brighter palette and a freer, more expressive brushstroke, as in the present work. Here, Picabia masterfully captured the stunning effects of sunset on the water, using tones of blue in the buildings and dirt to create a harmonious, peaceful port scene.

True to the dramatic fashion in which he lived his life and directly coinciding with his marriage to Gabrielle Buffet, Picabia abruptly ended his Impressionist period in 1909, making a complete break with the aesthetic and selling more than one hundred Impressionist paintings, the present lot included, in a very successful auction at Hôtel Drouot in Paris.

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