328
328

PROPERTY FROM A DISTINGUISHED PRIVATE COLLECTION

Louis Marcoussis
NATURE MORTE AU DAMIER/RHUM/BASS
Estimate
200,000300,000
JUMP TO LOT
328

PROPERTY FROM A DISTINGUISHED PRIVATE COLLECTION

Louis Marcoussis
NATURE MORTE AU DAMIER/RHUM/BASS
Estimate
200,000300,000
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale

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London

Louis Marcoussis
1883 - 1941
NATURE MORTE AU DAMIER/RHUM/BASS
signed Marcoussis and dated 1912 (towards lower centre); signed Marcoussis and dated 1912 on the reverse
oil on card laid down on canvas
55.9 by 47.3cm., 22 by 18 5/8 in.
Painted in 1912.
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This work is recorded in the archives of Solange Milet.

Provenance

Private Collection, Italy
Private Collection, Italy (by descent from the above; sale: Sotheby's, London, 6th February 2014, lot 235)
Purchased at the above sale by the present owner

Catalogue Note

A significant member of the Parisian cultural and artistic milieu that reached a peak of creativity in the years directly preceding the First World War, Louis Marcoussis embraced the language of Cubism alongside Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque. Originally from Poland and christened Ludwig Markous, the artist moved to Paris in 1903 to study at the Académie Julian, adopting the French version of his name as a measure of his commitment to a new life in France. His earliest works were inspired by the example of Impressionism, but a chance encounter with Braque and the poet Guillaume Apollinaire at the circus in 1910 galvanised Marcoussis into experimenting with an entirely new and pioneering artistic vocabulary.

Executed in 1912, Nature morte au damier/rhum/bass reveals the artist’s full mastery of the Cubist idiom. The early years of Cubism were centred on the graphic deconstruction of an object and its re-presentation from multiple viewpoints, typically in a limited, monochrome, grey or brown palette with a distinctive focus on still life motifs. In 1912, Braque introduced another component that would become distinctive to Cubism:  typography – brandishing letters or words across his canvases.

The present work exhibits these characteristic signifiers of Cubism to impressive effect. A chess board can be glimpsed in the background alongside glasses and playing cards, each object seemingly suspended within the fantastical distortion of the picture plane. The words rhum and bass hover over the scene, with corresponding connotations of musical innovation and discovery; the language of musical harmony was being re-interpreted in entirely new ways by composers such as Debussy, Ravel and Satie alongside their artistic counterparts during the first decades of the twentieth century. Ultimately Nature morte au damier/rhum/bass is a superb example of Marcoussis’ Cubist œuvre, indicating the artist’s mastery of this new and ground-breaking style of painting.

Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale

|
London