This work will be included in the forthcoming catalogue raisonné being prepared by Maïthé Vallès-Bled and Godeliève de Vlaminck under the sponsorship of the Wildenstein Institute.
Stephen Hahn Gallery, Inc., New York
Perls Galleries, New York
Sale: Christie's, New York, November 14, 1989, lot 63
Sale: Christie's, London, June 25, 2001, lot 22
Acquired at the above sale by the present owner
New York, Perls Galleries, Vlaminck: His Fauve Period, 1968, no. 18
New York, The Museum of Modern Art; San Francisco Museum of Art; Fort Worth, Kimbell Art Museum, "The Wild Beasts": Fauvism and its Affinities, 1976, no. 106
Painted with remarkable spontaneity and verve, Vlaminck’s portrait of a reclinging nude is one of his most powerful and visually arresting figurative compositions. The pale white tones of her skin emerge from a welter of large patches of undiluted color which unites the figure with the vibrant background. The model depicted was a young dancer from the cabaret, “Rat Mort,” which had also been frequented by Toulouse-Lautrec. During the Fauve years, Vlaminck had remained mostly in and around Chatou, but he did make periodic visits to Paris to keep in touch with events. By 1906, his name had also become notorious since he had participated in the famous 1905 Salon d’Automne in which the Fauve movement was born. Along with the works of Vlaminck were paintings by Camoin, Derain, Manguin, Marquet and Matisse.
Vlaminck was particularly close to Andre Derain, whom he had met in 1900 when the train they were both traveling on derailed outside of Paris. After this encounter, Vlaminck rented a studio where he and Derain set out on an independent course to break the boundaries of Impressionism through the use of a radically unorthodox palette, non-naturalistic color and more abstract arrangement of space. Six years later, when Derain returned to Paris from the south of France, he rented a studio on the rue Tourlaque, near the Rat Mort, and it was there that the two friends painted the dancers whose mixture or allure and garishness so beguiled the painters.
The undulating outlines of the figure contrasts with the strong parallel running, vertical brushstrokes of pure color that define the setting behind her. The more uniform and calm areas of white and strong blue outlines that border her body are surrounded by the further cool tones of the bedding to her right and set in counterpoint to the fiery orange, yellow and red tones of the pillows at the head of the bed to the left. The background is a shower of thickly loaded strokes of paint which again alternate between hot yellows and cool intervals of blue and green.
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