147
147

PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF MR. JANN WENNER

Roger de La Fresnaye
NATURE MORTE À LA CAFETIÈRE ET AU MELON
Estimate
120,000180,000
LOT SOLD. 150,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT
147

PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF MR. JANN WENNER

Roger de La Fresnaye
NATURE MORTE À LA CAFETIÈRE ET AU MELON
Estimate
120,000180,000
LOT SOLD. 150,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale

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New York

Roger de La Fresnaye
1885 - 1925
NATURE MORTE À LA CAFETIÈRE ET AU MELON
Signed rdelafrenaie (upper left)
Oil on canvas
21 1/2 by 31 1/4 in.
54.6 by 79.3 cm
Painted circa 1911.
Read Condition Report Read Condition Report

Provenance

Pierre Faure, Paris
Galerie Bignou, Paris
M. Knoedler & Co., Inc., New York
Mr. & Mrs. John Hay Whitney, New York (acquired from the above on June 15, 1951 and sold: Sotheby's, New York, May 10, 1999, lot 26)
Acquired at the above sale

Exhibited

Paris, Salon des indépendants, 1911, n.n.
Paris, Galerie Levesque, Peintures, dessins et aquarelles de Roger de la Fresnaye, 1914, no. 24
Paris, Galerie Barbazanges, Exposition rétrospective de l'oeuvre de Roger de la Fresnaye, 1926, no. 22
London, Alex Reid & Lefevre, Ltd., Paintings and Drawings by Roger de la Fresnaye, 1931, no. 7
Paris, Gazette des beaux-arts, Les Créateurs du cubisme, 1935, no. 80
Paris, Musée d'art moderne, Roger de la Fresnaye, 1950, no. 40
Paris, Galerie Charpentier, Autour 1900, 1950, n.n.
New York, M. Knoedler & Co., Inc., Roger de la Fresnaye, 1951, no. 6
Washington, D.C., National Gallery of Art, The John Hay Whitney Collection, 1983, no. 63

Literature

Roger Allard, Roger de la Fresnaye, Paris, 1912, illustrated p. 23
La Centaure, December 1926, illustrated p. 67
Paul Chadorune, "Notes sur Roger de la Fresnaye" in Cahiers d'Art, vol. III, no. 8, 1928, illustrated p. 315
Claude Roger-Marx, "Roger de la Fresnaye, peintre des sentiments héroiques" in Jardin des Arts, no. 59, 1959, illustrated p. 155
Germain Seligman, Roger de la Fresnaye, Connecticut, 1969, no. 153, illustrated p. 161

Catalogue Note

After leaving his training at the Académie des beaux-arts in 1908, de la Fresnaye began to experiment with the new painting techniques he encountered through his friendship with the Cubist sculptor Raymond Duchamp-Villon. It was during the years 1910-12 that de la Fresnaye’s painting turned almost exclusively to a cubist mode, and in 1911 he exhibited at the Salon des indépendants with Albert Gleizes, Jean Metzinger, Marcel Duchamp, Fernand Léger and Duchamp-Villon. The present work illustrates de la Fresnaye’s basic conception of the Cubist approach to painting that entailed an organization of visual sensations according to geometric structure. De la Fresnaye once wrote, “In painting there are two things, the eye and the knife. Each must help the other; one must work toward their mutual development; the eye for the vision of nature, the knife for the logic of organized sensations that gives the means of expression” (as quoted in Germain Seligman, op. cit., p. 29).

Germain Seligman writes of the present work, “It is clear that the objects have been chosen for their geometric shapes which lend themselves toward stylization. The different faces of the piece of the cheese wheel and the sections of melon are accented with shading; the surface on the top of the coffee-pot is broken into pieces as if it were faceted” (ibid., p. 161). De la Fresnaye has applied his "knife" to the shapes in the present work, organizing a subtle play of simple geometric shapes, the mirror like arrangement of ellipses that surround the melon at the center, the sharp angles of the cut cheese that relate to the simple lines of the coffee pot. De la Fresnaye presents nature according to a rationale of organized sensations, a simplification of the objects of a still-life in which the organic shape of the melon is related directly to the man-made shapes of a cheese-wheel, saucer, cup and pot.

Acquired by Mr. and Mrs. John Hay Whitney in 1951, de la Fresnaye’s Nature morte à la cafetière et au melon was a work greatly admired by the couple and played an key role in their exceptional collection, hanging alongside works by Degas, Cézanne, Gauguin and Toulouse-Lautrec, among other European masters. Though the name Whitney is most significantly linked to American art through John Hay’s aunt Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, Mr. Whitney’s profound interest in European Impressionist art was magnified through his intimate association with the Museum of Modern Art in New York, for which he became a trustee in 1930.

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