4
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PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE FRENCH COLLECTION

René Magritte
SHÉHÉRAZADE
Estimate
140,000180,000
LOT SOLD. 217,500 EUR
JUMP TO LOT
4

PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE FRENCH COLLECTION

René Magritte
SHÉHÉRAZADE
Estimate
140,000180,000
LOT SOLD. 217,500 EUR
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Art Impressionniste et Moderne

|
Paris

René Magritte
1898 - 1967
SHÉHÉRAZADE
signed Magritte (upper right) ; titled Sheherazade, signed Magritte and dated 1947 (on the reverse) ; poem signed Joë Bousquet (on the reverse)
gouache on paper
16.8 by 12.7 cm ; 6 5/8 by 5 in.
Executed in 1947.
Read Condition Report Read Condition Report

The authenticity of this work has been confirmed by Comité Magritte.

Provenance

Joë Bousquet, Carcassone (acquired from the artist)
Jacqueline Gourbeyre, Toulouse (gift from the above in 1948)
Thence by descent

Literature

Joë Bousquet, Lettres à Magritte, Brussels, 1981 
Pierre Cabanne, La Chambre de Joë Bousquet. Enquêtes et écrits sur une collection, Marseilles, 2005, illustrated p. 129
Joë Bousquet, Lettres à une jeune fille, Paris, 2008, p. 9 (not illustrated 

Catalogue Note

“For my sister and I, Joë Bousquet was first of all, before we had ever encountered his work, a gouache by Rene Magritte : Schéhérazade. A gouache  measuring 17 cm by 13, with a fascinating strangeness and sensual power, in which the features of a young woman with bright eyes and flamboyant lips are traced by strings of pearls.”

in Joë Bouquet, Lettres à une jeune fille, Paris 2008, p. 9

Testament to Magritte’s enthusiastic reading of 1001 Nights in summer 1946, the face of Sheherazade fades into transparency here to form floating lace. This new motif shows Magritte’s taste for the magical: from the face made of pearls hangs a small bell, a fetish object that recurs many times in the artist’s oeuvre. He explained that he had admired the resonant metal object around the necks of cows during his childhood. Alongside these two elements, Magritte plays upon the revealing and concealing of eroticism, with the curtain that masks the bell’s pendant. We can never know what it conceals. The appearance of the fantastical, associated with childhood memories, bestows the green landscape with a singular, pink-tinged strangeness, heightening the invitation to pleasure conjured by Magritte’s art at the end of the 1940s.

Jacqueline Gourbeyre, nicknamed Linette, kept this work by her bedside until the end of her life. This picture, an ode to life’s happiness, was given to her by the poet Joë Bousquet in 1948, because he wanted to create a “link” between their two bedrooms (as the poet himself confides in a letter to Magritte dated 29th September 1948): her student bedsit in Toulouse and the room in Carcassone where a terrible war injury has confined the “immobile poet”.

On the reverse of this gouache a beautiful poem is signed “son ami Joë”:

“In Isel

Death, the biggest eyes that love me

Two roses in my blood

Where the sea never flows the same way

The thirst that burns her inside,

Where childhood dances chase me

From a body that she has bathed without me

My heart puts the world in my place

I become the night that sees it.”

Art Impressionniste et Moderne

|
Paris