69
69
Max Weber
IMAGINARY PORTRAIT OF A WOMAN
Estimate
400,000600,000
LOT SOLD. 795,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT
69
Max Weber
IMAGINARY PORTRAIT OF A WOMAN
Estimate
400,000600,000
LOT SOLD. 795,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

American Art

|
New York

Max Weber
1847 - 1947
IMAGINARY PORTRAIT OF A WOMAN
signed Max Weber and dated 1913 (lower left); also inscribed "Portrait" (on a label affixed to the stretcher)
oil on canvas
36 by 24 inches
(91.4 by 61 cm)
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Provenance

Linda R. Miller
Mr. and Mrs. Aaron W. Davis (her daughter), New York
Natalie and Jerome Spingarn (their daughter), Washington, D.C.
Private collection, Atlanta, Georgia (by descent) 
Gerald Peters Gallery, New York
Private collection, Texas (sold: Sotheby's, New York, May 19, 2004, lot 136)
Acquired by the present owner at the above sale

Exhibited

New York, Whitney Museum of American Art, Pioneers of Modern Art in America, April-May 1946, no. 59 (as Imaginary Portrait)
San Francisco, California, California Palace of the Legion of Honor, June 1949 (on loan)
Buffalo, New York, Albright-Knox Art Gallery; Brooklyn, New York, The Brooklyn Museum; Los Angeles, California, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Max Weber: The Cubist Decade, 1910-1920, December 1991-April 1993, no. 35, p. 101

Literature

American Artists Group, Max Weber, New York, 1945, illustrated
Alfred Werner, Max Weber, New York, 1975, illustrated pl. 51

Catalogue Note

After spending three years in France studying the works of Paul Cézanne, Georges Braque and Henri Matisse, Max Weber returned to New York in 1909, "more informed about European art and aesthetics than anyone else in America" (Barbara Haskell, The American Century: Art & Culture 1900-1950, New York, 1999, p. 95). This proximity to the French masters led Weber to develop his own cubist style and to paint pictures inspired by the vibrancy and newness of 20th century America, particularly New York.

Max Weber was included in the 1910 landmark exhibition Younger American Painters, which also featured works by Marsden Hartley, Arthur Dove, John Marin, Arthur B. Carles and Edward Steichen, among others. Organized by Alfred Stieglitz at his gallery 291, this was the first collective exhibition of works by modern American artists. Percy North writes, "Weber's inclusion in Younger American Painters established him as a renegade artist with an unusually innovative vision. When Weber's work did not appear at the Independents exhibition organized by the realists in March of 1910, Arthur Hoeber remarked, 'they are independent enough but we miss the name Max Weber, even more independent than any of the foregoing, and we wonder why he is left out of the group. Perhaps he would make the rest look conventional. We opine he would. At any rate no true Independent show would be complete without him'" (Max Weber: The Cubist Decade 1910-1920, Atlanta, Georgia, 1991, p. 22). 

By 1913, the year he completed Imaginary Portrait of a Woman, Weber was fully immersed in New York life, experiencing the lively cafes, vaudeville theatres and newly released moving pictures. This same year, Weber painted Imaginary Portrait of a Woman. Percy North observes, "Two other paintings of 1913 make oblique references to the experience of the cinema. Weber's reverie of his fantasy female from the cinema, revealed in his poem 'I Wonder,' resulted in his painting Imaginary Portrait of a Woman [Imaginitive Portrait of a Woman], 1913. Although the subject does not appear to be placed in the theatre, the green curtain at the left edge of the canvas suggests a stage-like setting. The portrait allowed the artist to bring his dream girl to life in the manner of the mythical Pygmalion" (Ibid, p. 29). 

American Art

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New York