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PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE COLLECTION

Paul Delvaux
LES DÉMONS DE LA NUIT
ACCÉDER AU LOT
55

PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE COLLECTION

Paul Delvaux
LES DÉMONS DE LA NUIT
ACCÉDER AU LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Surrealist Art Evening Sale

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Londres

Paul Delvaux
1897 - 1994
LES DÉMONS DE LA NUIT
signed P. Delvaux and dated St Idesbald 19-7-68 (lower right)
watercolour and ink and wash on paper
68 by 102cm.
26 3/4 by 40 1/8 in.
Executed on 19th July 1968.
Lire le rapport d'état Lire le rapport d'état

The authenticity of this work has been confirmed by the Paul Delvaux Foundation.

Provenance

Michèle Lachowsky, Brussels

Private Collection, Brussels

Thence by descent to the present owner before the 1980s

Exposition

Grenoble, Musée de Peinture et de Sculpture, Paul Delvaux, peintures, aquarelles, encres, 1970, no. 32, illustrated in the catalogue

Brussels, Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique & Liège, Musée de la Ville, Hommage à Paul Delvaux, 1977, no. 45 (with incorrect measurements)

New York, The Elkon Gallery, Paul Delvaux, René Magritte, 1988, no. 17, illustrated in colour in the catalogue

Paris, Galerie d’Orsay, Les peintres Surréalistes: Delvaux, Ensor, Labisse, Magritte…, 1999, illustrated in colour in the catalogue

Monaco, Salle d'exposition du Quai Antoine 1er, Paul Delvaux, 2001

Bibliographie

Barbara Emerson, Paul Delvaux, Paris, 1985, illustrated in colour p. 192

Description

Whilst Delvaux claimed not to be a proponent of the writings of Sigmund Freud, his compositions are renowned for their hallucinatory scenarios and dream-like imagery. In the present work, the elongated oil lamp surrounded by the sensual nudes invests the composition with psychoanalytic references analogous to those favoured by his fellow Surrealists. In 1968, the year the present work was executed, Delvaux created several compositions depicting female nudes in unidentified interior settings. Les Démons de la nuit takes its title from the open book visible just above the centre of the compositions, suggestive of a sensual, dream-like narrative.

Throughout his career, Delvaux was fascinated with the effects of light and shadow in his pictures, and his mastery at manipulating colour to this end is beautifully demonstrated in the present work. Since the mid-1940s the artist spent several months a year at the village of Saint-Idesbald on the North Sea, and the light of this coastal region certainly influenced his paintings and watercolours. Writing about his mature works, Barbara Emerson observed: ‘Paul Delvaux has since the mid-1960’s created in many ways a more insidious climate of mystery and alienation. In this light came to play an even more important role, bathing the scenes in a pale, luminous splendour’ (B. Emerson, op. cit., p. 185). In the present work, Delvaux uses the brightness of the sheet and the translucent quality of the subtly applied ink wash to achieve this luminous effect.

Surrealist Art Evening Sale

|
Londres