L13115

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Lot 393
  • 393

Mela Muter

Estimate
70,000 - 90,000 GBP
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Description

  • Mela Muter
  • Breton Women
  • oil on canvas
  • 132 by 112.5cm, 52 by 44 1/4 in.
  • Painted circa 1907.

Provenance

Acquired directly from the artist in the early 1960s
Thence by descent

Exhibited

Cologne, Galerie Gmurzynska, Mela Muter Retrospektiv-Austellung, 21 October - 1 December 1967, no.5
Ashdod, Israel, Art Museum Ashdod, Persecuted Art and Artists under Totalitarian Regimes in Europe during the 20th Century, 22 June - 21 September 2003

Literature

Exhibition catalogue Mela Muter Retrospektiv-Austellung, Cologne: Galerie Gmurzynska, 1967, no.5 illustrated
K.Bar-Gera and W.Zemter (Eds.), Persecuted Art and Artists under Totalitarian Regimes in Europe during the 20th Century, Bönen: Kettler, 2003, p.45 illustrated

Condition

The canvas is partially strip-lined along the left edge and there are several small patches along right edge on the reverse. The reverse also contains a full-sized artwork. The primary artwork has some slight unevenness in the top left and right corners. UV light does not reveal any apparent retouching. Held in a wooden frame. Unexamined out of frame.
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Catalogue Note

This is a double-sided work showing a version of the painting Mother and Child on the reverse.

Mela Muter is known to have travelled to Brittany often after settling in France, and this superb large-scale portrait of Breton women in traditional dress is the most significant early work ever to appear at auction. The choice of subject matter is a reflection of her interest in the artists of the Pont Aven school, such as Paul Gaugin and Emile Bernard, who had immortalised traditional Breton life in their work. The bold colours and the dramatic lighting reveal a confident young artist whose pictures remained intimate at the same time.

Born into a Jewish family in Poland, Muter spent most of her in life in France. Having arrived in Paris in 1901, she frequented the Académie de la Grande Chaumière and the Académie Colarossi, but was essentially a self-taught artist. She was well integrated in the artistic and intellectual circles, was a member of the Parisian Societé Nationale des Beaux-Arts and exhibited widely both in France and abroad.