Lot 14
  • 14

Gino Severini

1,000,000 - 1,500,000 USD
1,145,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Gino Severini
  • La Terrasse d'un café de Montmartre
  • Signed G. Severini (lower right); signed Gino Severini and inscribed Le déjeuner à la terrasse on the reverse
  • Oil on canvas


Kunsthandel Huinck & Scherjon, Amsterdam

Mrs. Van Blaaderen-Hoogendijk, Amsterdam

Acquired by the present owner's family prior to 1939


Paris, Galerie 23, Peintres Futuristes Italiens, 1929-30, no. 9

Venice, XVII Biennale Internationale d'Arte, 1930, no. 98

Paris, Galerie Jacques Bonjean, Gino Severini - Exposition retrospective, 1931, no. 3

Amsterdam, Kunsthandel Huinck & Scherjon, Gino Severini - Exposition retrospective, 1931, no. 8

Haarlem-De Hallen, Moderne Italiaane Kunst uit Nederlands particulier en museaal bezit, 1969, no. 170


Lionello Venturi, Gino Severini, Rome, 1961, no. 22

Daniela Fonti, Gino Severini.  Catalogo ragionato, Milan, 1988, no. 148, illustrated p. 151

Catalogue Note

La Terrasse d'un café de Montmartre is an exceptionally vibrant and rare example of Severini’s Futurist work. The painting shows a man sitting outside a Montmartre café, enveloped by the multi-sensory stimuli of the modern city. The Bergsonian integration of space and time was of central importance to Futurism: an idea being simultaneously explored by the Cubists, but to more dizzying effect by the Futurists. Whereas the Cubists mostly limited themselves to the still life genre, the Futurists burst out onto the streets, the railways, and the battlefield. In fact it was not just the choice of subject that distinguished the Cubist and Futurists. Severini describes the distinction between the two ‘inclinations’, as he calls them, very clearly in a letter to Marinetti in April 1913: "Cubism: reaction to Impressionism, objectivism, analysis, stasis. Futurism: continuation of Impressionism; simultaneity plastic states of mind; synthesis; dynamism in the sense of duration and displacement."

These words, written in the same year this work was painted, help us to understand the artist’s complex and nuanced intentions.  Although Futurist painting may often be associated with images of war, and of hurtling trains packed full of ammunition, the group was just as much concerned with the pulse of the modern urbanized city. Here, Severini does not merely celebrate the obvious dynamism of a train or a car, but the more intangible dynamism and buzz of Montmartre. Ordinarily stable elements are catapulted into action, and imbued with the city’s vitality. Forms are flattened and piled on top of each other to create a looming atmosphere where the background is given just as much importance as the foreground.