169
169

PROPERTY FROM THE PETER EMBIRICOS FAMILY COLLECTION

Robert Delaunay
NATURE MORTE PORTUGAISE 
Estimate
300,000500,000
JUMP TO LOT
169

PROPERTY FROM THE PETER EMBIRICOS FAMILY COLLECTION

Robert Delaunay
NATURE MORTE PORTUGAISE 
Estimate
300,000500,000
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale

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New York

Robert Delaunay
1885 - 1941
NATURE MORTE PORTUGAISE 
Signed r. delaunay and dated 1916 (lower left)
Encaustic on canvas
28 1/2 by 36 3/4 in.
72.4 by 93.3 cm
Painted in Villa do Conde in 1916.
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The authenticity of this work has been confirmed by Richard Riss.

Provenance

Galerie Louis Carré, Paris (acquired directly from the artist)
Ira Haupt, New York (and sold: Sotheby Parke Bernet, New York, January 13, 1965, lot 26)
T. Leventritt, New York (acquired at the above sale)
William Segsworth, New York (acquired from the above in 1979)
Stephen Mazoh & Co., Inc, New York
Acquired from the above in February 1982 and thence by descent

Exhibited

Paris, Galerie de France, Le Cubisme, 1911-18, 1945, no. 12
Bern, Kunsthalle, Robert Delaunay, 1951, no. 38
New York, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Robert Delaunay, 1954-55, n.n.
New York, Fine Arts Associates Gallery, Robert Delaunay, 1959, no. 6

Literature

Guy Habasque, Du Cubisme à l'art abstrait, supplément, Paris, 1957, no. 183, illustrated p. 280

Catalogue Note

After initially training as a theatre designer, Robert Delaunay taught himself to paint after discovering the work of Paul Cézanne, which led him from Neo-Impressionism to Cubism. While greatly respected by fellow artists, during his lifetime Delaunay did not attain the celebrity status of his peers such as Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse. The situation improved with a pivotal exhibition of Robert’s early work at the Centre Pompidou in 1999 and now the impact of his contribution to the development of abstraction is finally widely acknowledged and they are justly lauded as pioneering precursors of today’s Kinetic Art and Op Art.

In 1915, Robert Delaunay and his wife Sonia Delaunay moved to Portugal. Robert had a medical condition which prevented him from active duty; this also suited  his (and his wife’s) commitment to pacifism.  Removed from the chaos of the First World War, the Delaunays were fascinated by the warm, clear light of Northern Portugal, which they captured in their respective paintings during this period.  He was inspired by the simple life in his new surroundings, which he described as "violent contrasts of colored marks, women's clothing, striking shawls of delicious, metallic greens, watermelons. Forms and colors: women disappearing in mountains of pumpkins, vegetables, enchanting markets" (quoted by Pierre Francastel in Robert Delaunay, Du cubisme à l'art abstrait, Paris, 1957, p. 127).

The Portugaise works were of great importance in that they serve to underline Delaunay's development towards an art in which color and design are on equal footing in the conception of the work as a whole, anticipating his later and purely abstract Rythmes series. Nature morte portugaise is a vivacious and highly original combination of figurative and abstract elements. The motifs of the sliced melon and traditional tablecloth reoccur in various Portugaise still lifes Delaunay created during this period.

Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale

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