Lot 341
  • 341

Yves Tanguy

320,000 - 380,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Yves Tanguy
  • Sans titre
  • Signed Yves Tanguy and dated 31 (lower right)
  • Oil on glass
  • 7 1/2 by 7 1/2 in.
  • 19 by 19 cm
signed Yves Tanguy and dated 31 (lower right)
oil on glass
19 by 19cm.
Painted in 1931


Galerie André-François Petit, Paris
Galerie Jan Krugier, Geneva
Private Collection (and sold: Sotheby's, London, December 3, 1980, lot 65)
Private Collection, London (acquired at the above sale; thence by descent and sold: Christie’s, London, February 9, 2011, lot 123)
Schlumberger Collection, Paris & New York (acquired at the above sale and sold: Sotheby's, New York, November 4, 2014, lot 46)
Acquired at the above sale 


Paris, Galerie André-François Petit, Hans Bellmer, Salvador Dalí, Max Ernst, René Magritte, Francis Picabia, Yves Tanguy, 1963, n.n., illustrated in the catalogue
London, Courtauld Gallery & Sheffield, Graves Art Gallery, Modernist Art from the Emery Collection, 1999, no. 9, illustrated in the catalogue
Cheltenham, Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum, Surrealism Returns, 2008, no. 11
Edinburgh, National Galleries of Scotland, The Dean Gallery, Another World: Dalí, Magritte, Miró and the Surrealists, 2010-11, n.n.


Pierre Matisse, Yves Tanguy, Un Recueil de ses oeuvres, A Summary of his Works, New York, 1963, no. 123, illustrated p. 80
Daniel Marchesseau, Yves Tanguy, Paris, 1973, illustrated p. 32
Sarane Alexandrian, Dictionnaire de la peinture surréaliste, Paris, 1973, illustrated p. 59
Patrick Waldberg, Yves Tanguy, Brussels, 1977, illustrated p. 167
Patrick Waldberg, Yves Tanguy, Brussels, 1984, illustrated p. 45
Yves Tanguy and Surrealism (exhibition catalogue), Stuttgart, Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, 2000-01, illustrated in color p. 76

Catalogue Note

Tanguy's career as a painter began in 1922 after the artist saw an early Surrealist work by Giorgio de Chirico at Paul Guillaume's gallery. The profound impact of de Chirico's landscapes compelled Tanguy to join the Surrealist group in 1925, collaborating with André Breton in La Révolution Surréaliste. Indeed, Tanguy's early works clearly allude to de Chirico's "Italian squares" of the same period and it was not until 1927 that Tanguy began painting the dream-like landscapes that would establish him as a major figure of the Surrealist movement.

The present work, painted in 1931, contains many of the distinctive qualities that characterize the artist's signature "mind-scapes:" the deep foreground plain and ambiguous horizon, the presence of objects floating in the silent air, and the primal forms that may refer to the prehistoric monoliths and dolmens of the Brittany landscape the artist knew during childhood.

The haunting imagery of Tanguy's pictures stem from his experience growing up in Europe during World War I. Dilapidated buildings, piles of rubble and the bleak terrain of abandoned battlefields were common sites throughout northern France. These spectacles had a significant effect on Surrealist imagery, particularly for Tanguy, whose landscapes captured "the sense of empty, abandoned, ghostly wasteland of the war-torn terrain" (Sidra Stich, Anxious Visions, Surrealist Art (exhibition catalogue), University Art Museum, University of California at Berkeley, 1990, p. 87).