Lot 375
  • 375

HENRI LEBASQUE | Marthe et Pierre Lebasque dans un intérieur

80,000 - 120,000 GBP
273,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Henri Lebasque
  • Marthe et Pierre Lebasque dans un intérieur
  • signed H. Lebasque (lower right)
  • oil on canvas


Emil Staub Terlinden, Männedorf
Private Collection, USA (sale: Sotheby's, New York, 9th November 1995, lot 213)
Purchased at the above sale by the present owners


San Francisco, Montgomery Gallery, H. Lebasque, 1986


Louis Vauxcelles, 'Art ancien-Art moderne', in L'Amour de l'Art, 1926, n.n
Denise Bazetoux, Henri Lebasque, Catalogue raisonné, Neuilly-sur-Marne, 2008, vol. I, no. 583, illustrated p. 174

Catalogue Note

Painted in 1913-14, the present work is a scintillating example of Henri Lebasque’s most striking interior scenes. It depicts Lebasque’s children Marthe (the subject of a number of paintings) and Pierre, born in 1912. Rendered in a vibrant palette of brilliant yellows, purples, greens and pinks, patterns intertwine with each other blending foreground and background: the abundant bouquet almost blending into the table-cloth and wallpaper. Marthe, facing the viewer directly, is dressed in an elegantly embroidered green jacket recalling little Pierre’s smock: both figures acting as visual anchors to the scene. The embroidered white curtain, almost translucent in feel, further divides interior and exterior scenes evoking Matisse’s later interior scenes executed in Nice. Lebasque lends an intimate spontaneity to the scene as if Pierre, busy playing with his toy, had just entered the composition. Marthe et Pierre Lebasque dans un intérieur highlights both the artist's fascination with the portrayal of subjects in interiors and his ability to render the beauty and peacefulness of their quotidian surroundings. As Lisa Banner observes, ‘Intimism, a term which best describes Lebasque's painting, refers to the close domestic subject matter, supremely realized by Bonnard and Vuillard, in such a manner as to convey the personal nature of his response to the thing painted, and the universal familiarity of home and family’ (Lisa A. Banner, Lebasque1865-1937, San Francisco, 1985, p. 12). She continues, ‘Lebasque's vision of life led him to concentrate upon intimate domestic scenes and close, interior compositions. He was hailed as the painter of 'Joy and Light' by art critics and curators of the Louvre in his later life. But Lebasque's primary concerns were with simple expression of sensuous surface... He achieved an intimate manner of painting those scenes and people most dear to him, which was replete with his personal delight in form and color, heightened by his contact with fellow painters Matisse and Bonnard, but characteristically his own’ (ibid p. 20).

The first owner of this work was Swiss industrialist Emil Staub Terlinden who avidly began collecting predominantly French paintings ranging from the Impressionists, Nabis and Fauves from 1916. Highlights of his collection included works by Paul Cézanne such as La Bouteille de menthe now in the National Gallery of Art Washington, DC and Edouard Manet’s Vase de fleurs in the Musée d'Orsay in Paris.