Lot 110
  • 110

Marcel Gromaire

50,000 - 70,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Marcel Gromaire
  • Girls
  • signed Gromaire and dated 1929 (lower right); signed Gromaire, dated 1929, titled and numbered 277 on the reverse
  • oil on canvas
  • 100 by 80cm., 39 1/4 by 31 1/2 in.


M. Gerschman, Stockholm
Private Collection, Stockholm (acquired from the above circa 1960-70)
Thence by descent to the present owners


‘Marcel Gromaire’ in Selection, Chronique de la vie artistique, Anvers, Cahier no. 9, January 1930, illustrated p. 55
François Gromaire & Françoise Chibret-Plaussu, Marcel Gromaire, La Vie et l'œuvre, Catalogue raisonné des peintures, Paris, 1993, no. 279, illustrated p. 124

Catalogue Note

As one of the major French Expressionist artists between the two World Wars, Marcel Gromaire’s work focuses on the unending struggle between nature’s raw and brutal materials and the sensitivity of the human spirit. He later repudiated the Expressionist label, stating that ‘instead of deforming, I would prefer to affirm reality’ (quoted in Marcel Gromaire Works on Paper (exhibition catalogue), Robert Stanley Johnson Fine Art, Chicago, 1987, p. 12).

The period 1924-29 was one of intense production for Gromaire, during which the artist focused on endowing his works with a vital sensuality. In Girls, the artist evokes the drama of the circus or cabaret, where dancers and singers take to the stage to perform before a captivated audience. Gromaire uses bold colouring and repetition to create a strong composition which explores the human form and evokes the theme of music and symphony. Employing deep and rich colours to endow the figures with a monumental dignity, visual rhythm is achieved by the juxtaposition of their silhouettes with the geometric shapes on the right of the canvas. In the present work, the performers' powerful stance with their exposed flesh and defiant pose exude theatricality and exemplify Gromaire's mastery of composition and medium. With its evocative subject matter, harmonious palette and intricate composition, Girls remains one the artist's most accomplished works.