Lot 129
  • 129

Georges Rouault

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  • Georges Rouault
  • Clown anglais
  • Signed G Rouault (upper right)
  • Oil on canvas
  • 25 3/4 by 17 in.
  • 65.4 by 43 cm


Ambroise Vollard, Paris
Stavros Niarchos, Athens
Sam Salz Gallery, New York
Mr. and Mrs. Edward G. Robinson, Los Angeles (acquired from the above)
Gift to the museum from the above in 1955


Boston, The Institute of Modern Art; Washington, Phillips Memorial Gallery; San Francisco Museum of Art, Georges Rouault: Retrospective Loan Exhibition, 1940-41, illustrated
New York, Marie Harriman Gallery , Georges Rouault: A Selection from the Retrospective Loan Exhibition held at The Institute of Modern Art, Boston,  The Phillips Memorial Gallery, Washington and San Francisco Museum of Art, 1941
Phoenix Art Museum and Oakland Art Museum, One Hundred Years of French Painting, 1961, illustrated on back cover
Long Beach Museum of Art, The Figure: Past and Present, 1961


Lionello Venturi, Georges Rouault, New York, E. Weyhe, 1940, fig.82
Alfred M. Frankfurter, 'The Full Stature of Rouault,' The Art News, vol.39, no.6, November 9, 1940, illustrated p.7
Lionello Venturi, Georges Rouault, Paris, Skira, 1948, illustrated pl. 97, p. 121
Jacques Maritain, Georges Rouault, Beaverbrook Newspapers, London, 1958, illustrated p. 31
Bulletin of the Art Division:  Los Angeles County Museum, vol. 10, no. 4,1958, p.9
Pierre Courthion, Georges Rouault, New York, 1961, no. 268, illustrated p. 430
Bernard Dorival and Isabelle Rouault, Rouault, L’Oeuvre peint, Monte Carlo, 1988, vol. 2, no. 2016,  illustrated p. 174

Catalogue Note

Painted in 1937, Clown Anglais is an emblematic icon which Rouault repeated continuously throughout his career.  Clowns were, according to Lionello Venturi, "the dream of Rouault's life."  These nomadic entertainers represented freedom and naiveté, and were for Rouault a release from his focus on prostitutes and other darker images of life.  The clown was a craftsman practicing an art uncomplicated by the problems of the day.  Venturi continues, "When he paints clowns, however, the grotesque becomes amiable, even lovable. . .  colors grow rich and resplendent, almost as if the artist, laying aside his crusader's arms for a moment, were relaxing in the light of the sun and letting it flood into his work" (Lionello Venturi, Rouault, Lausanne, 1959, pp. 21 and 51).

Fig. 1  Georges Rouault in his studio, Saint-Malo, 1932