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THE PROPERTY OF A PRIVATE COLLECTION

Georges Braque
PAYSAGE À LA CIOTAT
Estimation
Irrevocable Bids
Lots with this symbol indicate that a party has provided Sotheby’s with an irrevocable bid on the lot that will be executed during the sale at a value that ensures that the lot will sell. The irrevocable bidder, who may bid in excess of the irrevocable bid, will be compensated based on the final hammer price in the event he or she is not the successful bidder or may receive a fixed fee in the event he or she is the successful bidder. If the irrevocable bidder is the successful bidder, the fixed fee (if applicable) for providing the irrevocable bid may be netted against the irrevocable bidder’s obligation to pay the full purchase price for the lot and the purchase price reported for the lot shall be net of such fixed fee. If the irrevocable bid is not secured until after the printing of the auction catalogue, a pre-lot announcement will be made indicating that there is an irrevocable bid on the lot. If the irrevocable bidder is advising anyone with respect to the lot, Sotheby’s requires the irrevocable bidder to disclose his or her financial interest in the lot. If an agent is advising you or bidding on your behalf with respect to a lot identified as being subject to an irrevocable bid, you should request that the agent disclose whether or not he or she has a financial interest in the lot.
Guaranteed Property
Guaranteed Property. The seller of lots with this symbol has been guaranteed a minimum price from one auction or a series of auctions. If every lot in a catalogue is guaranteed, the Conditions of Sale will so state and this symbol will not be used for each lot.
10 000 00015 000 000
Lot. Vendu 15,845,000 USD (Prix d’adjudication avec commission acheteur)
ACCÉDER AU LOT
23

THE PROPERTY OF A PRIVATE COLLECTION

Georges Braque
PAYSAGE À LA CIOTAT
Estimation
Irrevocable Bids
Lots with this symbol indicate that a party has provided Sotheby’s with an irrevocable bid on the lot that will be executed during the sale at a value that ensures that the lot will sell. The irrevocable bidder, who may bid in excess of the irrevocable bid, will be compensated based on the final hammer price in the event he or she is not the successful bidder or may receive a fixed fee in the event he or she is the successful bidder. If the irrevocable bidder is the successful bidder, the fixed fee (if applicable) for providing the irrevocable bid may be netted against the irrevocable bidder’s obligation to pay the full purchase price for the lot and the purchase price reported for the lot shall be net of such fixed fee. If the irrevocable bid is not secured until after the printing of the auction catalogue, a pre-lot announcement will be made indicating that there is an irrevocable bid on the lot. If the irrevocable bidder is advising anyone with respect to the lot, Sotheby’s requires the irrevocable bidder to disclose his or her financial interest in the lot. If an agent is advising you or bidding on your behalf with respect to a lot identified as being subject to an irrevocable bid, you should request that the agent disclose whether or not he or she has a financial interest in the lot.
Guaranteed Property
Guaranteed Property. The seller of lots with this symbol has been guaranteed a minimum price from one auction or a series of auctions. If every lot in a catalogue is guaranteed, the Conditions of Sale will so state and this symbol will not be used for each lot.
10 000 00015 000 000
Lot. Vendu 15,845,000 USD (Prix d’adjudication avec commission acheteur)
ACCÉDER AU LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale

|
New York

Georges Braque
1882 - 1963
PAYSAGE À LA CIOTAT
Signed G. Braque (lower left)
Oil on canvas
20 1/8 by 24 3/8 in.
51 by 62 cm
Painted in the summer of 1907.
Lire le rapport d'état Lire le rapport d'état

Provenance

(possibly) Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler, Paris

Max Pellequer, Paris

Private Collection, Switzerland

Wildenstein & Co., Inc., New York (acquired from the above in 1973)

Joseph & Ronnie Wohl, Long Island (acquired from the above in 1974 and sold: Sotheby’s, New York, November 9, 2000, lot 14)

Acquired by the present owner in 2008

Exposition

(possibly) Paris, Galerie Kahnweiler, Georges Braque, 1908

New York, Wildenstein & Co., French Landscape Paintings from Poussin to Bonnard, 1975, no. 9, illustrated in the catalogue

Roslyn Harbor, Nassau County Museum of Art, Shock of Modernism, 1984, illustrated in the catalogue

New York, Wildenstein & Co., Inc., Paris Cafés: Their Role in the Birth of Modern Art, 1985, illustrated in color the catalogue (as dating from circa 1906-07)

Los Angeles County Museum of Art; New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Fauve Landscape, 1990-91, no. 118, illustrated in color in the catalogue

Marseille, Musée Cantini, Georges Braque et le paysage, de l’Estaque à Varengeville, 1906-1963, 2006, no. 111, illustrated in color in the catalogue (titled Paysage de L'Estaque and as dating from 1907)

Bibliographie

Margaret Betz, “Nature as Scene: French Landscape Paintings from Poussin to Bonnard,” Art News, New York, December 1975, illustrated p. 120

Catalogue of International Conference on the Life of André Malraux, Hofstra University, Long Island, March 1978, p. 69

Description

Braque’s magnificent depiction of La Ciotat in the south of France is a seminal image of the Fauve revolution at the beginning of the twentieth century. The jubilant hues Braque used to create this vibrant image owe less to nature and more to his own emotional response to the landscape (figs 1, 5).  "Nature," Braque said in 1908 "is a mere pretext for decorative composition, plus sentiment. It suggests emotion, and I translate emotion into art" (quoted in Masters of Colour: Derain to Kandinsky  (exhibition catalogue), Royal Academy of Arts, London, 2002, p. 131).

Braque's depictions of the environs of Provence rank among the most expressive and desirable of the Fauve landscapes (figs. 2, 3, 5).  The inception of these rare and extraordinary canvases dates from the period immediately after the fall of 1905, when Matisse, Derain and Vlaminck first exhibited their boldy colorful Colliure landscapes at the Salon d'Automne and famously earned the moniker "wild beasts."   In 1906, Braque too would travel to the South of France, but he chose instead the rich terrain of the Provençal countryside as opposed to the port towns. In the present work, which was painted in the summer of 1907, Braque depicts the rolling hills near La Ciotat and L'Estaque - an area that figures prominently in his production through his Cubist landscapes.

The influence of Matisse and Derain is heavily felt in the present work, but there is a sophistication of form that is entirely unique to Braque's Provençal landscapes. Richard Schiff writes of his landscapes from this period in a recent exhibition catalogue: "Freely arranged, his colors 'constitute a pictorial fact' and become, only in their secondary function, the description of a limited number of characteristics of the locality. Whether L'Estaque or Antwerp, the given configuration of land, water, and sky remains no more than summarily translated. A sense of height and a distinctive form of vegetation distinguish the southern location from the northern one. In March 1906, as if to speak for Braque as well, Derain wrote to Matisse that their generation of artists was fortunate in being the first at liberty to capitalize on a newly acknowledged condition: whatever material an artist chose to use would assume a life of its own, independent of what one makes it represent. The means would come first, followed by its object, so that the subject of art would be the means and not the representation" (Richard Schiff, 'Infinition', in Georges Braque, Pioneer of Modernism (exhibition catalogue), Acquavella Galleries, New York, 2011, p. 36). 

Braque's explosive Fauve period would end quickly when he turned to Cézanne's example in the construction of the Cubist idiom. The rarity of his Fauve canvases make them all the more valuable to these early moments in Modernism. Braque stated that "For me Fauvism was a momentary adventure in which I became involved because I was young... I was freed from the studios, only twenty-four, and full of enthusiasm. I moved toward what for me represented novelty and joy, toward Fauvism... Just think I had only recently left the dark, dismal Paris studios where they still painted with a pitch!" (quoted in The Annenberg Collection (exhibition catalogue), Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, 1989, p. 116). Braque's attention to form within the Fauvist landscape would have immeasurable influence on subsequent movements, such as the German Expressionists who would reiterate a freedom of color a few years later. Braque's dealer Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler purchased many of Braque's paintings at the end of 1907, including several canvases that fit this description.   

Please note that this work has kindly been requested for the upcoming exhibition, German Expressionism and France: From van Gogh and Gauguin to the Blaue Reiter to be held at the following venues: Kunsthaus Zürich, February 7 – May 11, 2014; Los Angeles Country Museum of Art, June 8 – September 14, 2014; and Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, October 6 – January 25, 2015.

Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale

|
New York