Lot 40
  • 40

Théo van Rysselberghe

1,200,000 - 1,800,000 USD
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  • Théo van Rysselberghe
  • Le Ruban écarlate
  • Signed with the monogram VR and dated 06 (lower right)
  • Oil on canvas
  • 45 5/8 by 35 in.
  • 115.9 by 88.9 cm


Galerie Druet, Paris

Baron Kurt von Mutzenbecker, Wiesbaden (acquired in 1923)

Dr. R. Hamet, Paris (possibly by descent from the above)

Private Collection (possibly), Geneva

Hammer Gallery, New York (acquired from the above 1983)

Mr. Christopher Stenger, Chicago (acquired from the above 1984)

Hammer Gallery, New York (acquired from the above)

Anita Friedman Fine Arts Ltd., New York (acquired from the above)

Charles & Rose Wholstetter, New York (acquired from the above on January 23, 1985 and sold: Sotheby’s, New York, November 7, 2006, lot 67)

Acquired at the above sale


Berlin, Kurfürstendam, Berliner Secession, 1906

Ghent, Casino, Salon de Gand, XXXIXe exposition, 1906, no. 490

Rotterdam, Rotterdamse Kunstkring, Théo van Rysselberghe, 1909, no. 11

Groningue, Galerie Hosteenge, Pictura Théo van Rysselberghe, 1910, no. 11

Venice, XIe Esposizione Internationale d’Arte della città di Venezia, 1914, no. 117

Brussels, Galerie Giroux, Théo van Rysselberghe: exposition d'ensemble, 1927, no. 43

New York, Hammer Galleries, 19th & 20th Century European & American Paintings, The Gallery Collection, 1983, no. 24721-1, illustrated in color in the catalogue (titled Jeune nu se coiffant devant la glace)


Théo van Rysselberghe, letter to H. Van de Velde, April 4, 1906

Albert Dreyfuss, Die Kunst Für Alle, Munich, 1914, pp. 508-538

François Maret, Théo van Rysselberghe, De Sikkel Collection, Monographies de l'art belge, Anvers, 1948

Marc Eemans, Le nu de Rops à Delvaux, Brussels, 1981, illustrated p. 94 (titled Femme se coiffant au mirror)

Ronald Feltkamp, Théo van Rysselberghe, 1862-1926, Paris, 2003, no. 1906-010, illustrated in color p. 97 & in black and white p. 357 (catalogued with incorrect dimensions 97 by 78 cm)

Catalogue Note

Until the 20th century, Théo van Rysselberghe’s artistic production was dominated by landscapes and portraiture. By 1905, however, van Rysselberghe found a new passion to depict in his artwork, that of the female nude, of which the present work is perhaps his greatest example. Patricia vander Elst-Alandre examined this shift: “Before 1905, Van Rysselberghe had painted few nudes. That year, he began seriously to come to terms with this new genre, which became one of his favourites. He painted nudes under pine trees, after bathing, lying down and relaxed, at their toilet in front of the mirror, doing their hair, washing in the bath…. His nudes painted in interiors, just like his portraits, illustrate the same desire to focus the spectator’s attention on the subject. The background never competes with it, but remains neutral. At most, it is built up in a balanced manner, or composed of a mirror, which thus helps to reinforce the focus on the model…. Certain models will be his ‘favourites’ – Maude, ‘the redhead’, Paquita, Marcella the Venetian” (Théo van Rysselberghe (exhibition catalogue), Centre for Fine Arts, Brussels & Gemeentemuseum, The Hague, 2006, p. 69). Van Ryseelberghe’s model at her toilette recalls several of Degas’ sensual bathers from the Impressionist era, as well as renditions by the Old Masters, including the great Rokeby Venus by Diego Velásquez.