Lot 56
  • 56

Paul Delvaux

1,000,000 - 1,500,000 USD
1,538,500 USD
bidding is closed


  • Paul Delvaux
  • Femme assise (La Lampe)
  • Signed P. Delvaux and dated 10.45 (lower left)
  • Oil on cradled panel


Claude Spaak, Choisel

Estate of Millicent A. Rogers, Taos, New Mexico (sold: Parke-Bernet Galleries, New York, January 19, 1955, lot 100)

Durlacher Brothers, New York (acquired at the above sale)

Hugh Chisholm, New York

Galerie Dr. R. Horstmann, Cologne

Hans Schröder (acquired from the above in 1972 and sold: Lempertz, Cologne, December 10, 1986, lot 17)

Galerie Guy Pieters, Knokke-Heist

Acquired from the above by the present owner


Brussels, Peintres belges contemporains, 1948, no. 155, illustrated in the catalogue

San Francisco, Museum of Fine Art, 1967-68 (on loan)


Michel Butor, Jean Clair & Suzanne Houbart-Wilkin, Delvaux, Catalogue de l'oeuvre peint, Lausanne & Paris, 1975, no. 163, illustrated p. 214

Catalogue Note

The mysterious paintings of Paul Delvaux are regarded as some of the most sensual and alluring examples of Surrealist art. In Femme Assise (La Lampe), the artist explores his fascination with the conventions of perspective in western painting dating back to the Renaissance.  He creates a spatially-illogical interior with contradicting vanishing points that nonetheless bear the trappings of a conventional interior setting, with its crown moulding and Classical architectural details.  The spatial ambiguities are offset by the female figure in the foreground, whose inexplicable nudity is yet another startling element of this visually-engaging composition.

Gisèle Ollinger-Zinque writes of the artist in the context of the Surrealists: "There is no need whatsoever of psychological analyses or psychoanalytical interpretations, which by the way the artist firmly rejected, to understand the world of Paul Delvaux. It is made of simplicity and reality. It is the blossoming and affirmation of poetry by means of the contrasts that exist between the great monumental figures and the anachronistic settings in which they move. In this the artist agrees with the thinking of Breton who declared that the more the relationships between two connected realities were distant and exact, the more powerful the image would be. More than Delvaux the painter, it was Delvaux the surrealist poet whom Eluard and Breton hailed because his pictorial universe exists out of time, eludes fashion and defies any attempt at classification" (G. Ollinger-Zinque, Paul Delvaux 1897-1994 (exhibition catalogue), Royal Museum of Fine Arts of Belgium, Brussels, 1997, p. 27).