Painted in 1886.
Le Lever: femme s'étirant was taken from the late nineteenth-century life of the Parisienne. But while fellow Italian expatriates like Giuseppe de Nittis and Giovanni Boldini favored fashionably dressed ladies strolling along the Bois de Boulogne or luxuriating in chic interiors, Zandò generally preferred portraying women in private daily moments, from reading and drinking tea to more intimately posed nudes, bathing, lounging, or, as in the present work, waking from sleep. Le Lever: femme s'étirant was painted in 1886, when the artist submitted a group of nudes to that year’s Impressionist exhibition to hang alongside Degas’ similarly themed pastels (see fig. 1). The parallels invited immediate comparisons between the two artists, which would continue throughout their careers. While some of Degas’ critics questioned his unflatteringly posed women bent over basins, Zandò’s models were recognized for their natural, sensual poses and bodies made up of curved lines and luminous, complementary colors—both subject and technique drawing further comparisons to Pierre-Auguste Renoir.
While Zandò’s working habits and compositional choices linked him to Degas and Renoir as well as Mary Cassatt and Berthe Morisot, his works are specific to him and his Italian heritage. Compositions like Le Lever: femme s'étirant earned him the additional nickname of "Le Vénitien," stemming from his luminous yet subtle use of color, which recalls the work of the Macchiaioli, and points toward the Italian Divisionists and Symbolists Giuseppe Pellizza da Volpedo or Giovanni Segantini (ibid., p. 21). With Le Lever: femme s'étirant, Zandò builds dabs and dashes of paint and interwoven lines of heaps of bedding and intricately patterned carpet, while the solid forms of pooled nightgown and tossed-aside stockings contrast with the softly painted folds of a dress thrown across a chair and shoes left in the middle of the room. In comparison to the intimate scale of many pastels of the period, the remarkably large canvas of Le Lever: femme s'étirant emphasizes the stretch and yawn of his model, while the flattened, abstracted shapes of the bedroom suggests a dreamlike space (and anticipates the work of Nabis artists Pierre Bonnard and Édouard Vuillard). Zandò’s brilliant, complex intertwining of tone and texture, shape and volume, from model to her interior, conveys the exhaustion of the night before and the drowsy moments of the morning.
Born from multiple inspirations and painted with his own vibrant and carefully honed technique, a masterwork like Le Lever: femme s'étirant is distinctly "Zandò". Indeed, while many of the artist’s works quickly entered Durand-Ruel’s inventory, Le Lever: femme s'étirant remained with him for decades, appearing in the background of Zandò’s 1900 painting of his studio as a lasting representation of one of his best and most favored works (see fig. 2); both this composition and the present work were acquired by Angelo Sommaruga, the famed Italian art collector. Le Lever: femme s'étirant perfectly illustrates the artist’s recollection that "looking, listening, arguing, I was transformed like all other artists, from Pissarro to Degas, from Manet to Renoir; my artistic life was a series of infinite evolutions that cannot be analyzed, that cannot be explained… As for my technique, a very vague term, the one I used was my own, I did not borrow from anyone" (quoted in Piceni, op. cit., 1991, p. 60).
Please call 1-800-555-5555 to order a print catalog for this sale.
Online Registration to Bid is Closed for this Sale. Would you like to watch the live sale?Watch Live Sale