Lot 243
  • 243

Henri Lebasque

180,000 - 250,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Henri Lebasque
  • signed Lebasque and dated 1920 (lower right); inscribed Le tableau est de la main de mon père Henri Lebasque (la jeune fille est ma soeur Nono peint en 1920) Marthe Lebasque, Cannes 3 Août 1967 by Marthe Lebasque on the reverse

  • oil on canvas
  • 161.3 by 114.3cm., 63 1/2 by 45in.


Galerie Georges Petit, Paris (acquired by 1926)
M. J. Schlang, New York
Sale: Rheims, Paris, 25th June 1947, lot 64
Sale: Rheims, Paris, 17th June 1949, lot 148
Private Collection, Palm Beach
Hammer Galleries, New York
Luciana & Michael Solomon, USA (acquired from the above in 1990)
Private Collection, USA
Museum of Modern Art, St. Petersburg, Florida (on loan from the above 2008-09)


Stockholm, Liljevalchs Konsthall, Exhibition of French Art, 1923, no. 426
Paris, Galerie Georges Petit, 1926
Venice, 15th International Exhibition of Fine Arts, 1926, no. 5697


Denise Bazetoux, Henri Lebasque, Catalogue raisonné, Neuilly-sur-Marne, 2008, no. 1214, illustrated p. 298


The canvas is not lined. There is a 6cm. line and a 1cm. sq. spot of retouching along the upper left edge and two 2.5cm. lines of retouching in the lower right quadrant. There are several scattered nailhead-sized spots of minor retouching, notably to the lower left and right quadrants, towards the upper right corner in the sky, to the fan, and a spot to the sitter's dress. All retouching is visible under UV light. Apart from some minor areas of craquelure, mainly to the upper left and lower right quadrants, this work is in good condition.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.

Catalogue Note

Painted in 1920, the present work captures Lebasque's daughter Nono elegantly shading herself on a sun-drenched terrace in Saint-Tropez. Influenced by his contact with Pierre Bonnard and Édouard Vuillard during the 1890s, the artist spent the better part of his career painting the quiet moments of family life.  While Vuillard focused his intimiste vision on the domestic interior, a number of Bonnard's Nabis paintings depict figures outside, and it is Bonnard who seems to have been among the most important influences on Lebasque's career.  Lebasque became an artist known for paintings of calm and quiet moments, mothers and children, resting nudes and women seated in the bright light and colourful shadows of the south of France.

Despite this more traditional choice of subject matter, Lebasque spent the early part of his career in contact with various figures of the avant-garde.  Lebasque was a co-founder of the Salon d'Automne with Henri Matisse in 1903, the annual exhibition that in 1905 featured the bright coloured paintings by Matisse, Vlaminck, Derain and others dubbed 'les fauves'.  Lebasque also had a brief period of close attention to the pointillist painters Seurat and Signac, and although he quickly abandoned the tight brushwork of these painters, the idea of complimentary colour remained a central idea.

Paul Vitry writes that during a stay in Saint-Tropez in 1920, Lebasque returned to the theme of the terrace which he had painted earlier in his career. Vitry writes that in these paintings 'the technique is noticeably different: the luminous state is more and more rare and it is through large, flat brushwork that light is expressed; the shadows are always transparent and coloured, the play of light and shadow is established with a tranquil harmony, without arguments; because Lebasque, while making concessions to the new techniques, always paints with clarity and without brutality. Nothing is more opposed to his temperament, to his instinct, than the heavy run of sombre shades that sadden many of the canvases of the younger generation after the war, and so, here, with this new period, the figures are solidly established and painted on a large scale, with more force and with more oppositions of striking tones, like Jeune fille au châle espagnol ...' (fig. 1) (Paul Vitry, Henri Lebasque, Paris, 1928, pp. 78-79).

FIG. 1, Henri Lebasque, Jeune fille au châle espagnol et petit violiniste; Saint-Tropez, 1920, oil on canvas, Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit