Lot 159
  • 159

FEDERICO ZANDOMENEGHI | Le Lever: femme s'étirant

400,000 - 600,000 USD
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  • Federico Zandomeneghi
  • Le Lever: femme s'étirant
  • Signed Zandomeneghi and dated 86 (lower right)
  • Oil on canvas Painted in 1886.
  • 49 1/8 by 39 in.
  • 124.8 by 99.1 cm


Durand-Ruel, Paris (acquired directly from the artist on March 9, 1915)
Angelo Sommaruga, Paris (acquired from the above on January 19, 1929) 
Maria Caputo Sommaruga, Milan
Enrico Piceni, Milan
Giuliano Matteucci, Viareggio, Italy
Private Collection, Como (acquired from the above in 1968) 
Thence by descent


Venice, XI Esposizione Internazionale d’Arte della Città di Venezia, 1914, no. 26 (titled Donna che si stira)
Livorno, Italy, Villa Mimbelli, Aria di Parigi nella pittura italiana del secondo Ottocento, 1998-99, no. 113, illustrated in the catalogue


Raffaello Giolli, "Contributi all’800. Il ritorno di Zandomeneghi," in Problemi d’Arte Attuale, year 2, Milan, 1929, nos. 1-2, illustrated p. 21 (titled Donna che si spoglia)
Enrico Piceni, Zandomeneghi, Milan, 1952, no. 42, illustrated n.p. (titled Donna che si stira
Mia Cinotti, "Zandomeneghi, ein Italiener im Paris der Impressionisten," in Epoca, Munich, 1964, no. 2, illustrated p. 54
Enrico Piceni, Zandomeneghi, Milan, 1967, no. 82, illustrated n.p. 
Mario Borgiotti & Paul Nicholls, La donna e i bimbi nell’arte del nostro Ottocento pittorico, vol. III, Milan, 1969, illustrated n.p. (titled Donna che si stira)
Mario Monteverdi, Storia della pittura italiana dell’800, vol. II, Milan, 1975, illustrated pp. 16-17 
Enrico Piceni, Zandomeneghi, L’uomo e l’opera, Milan, 1979, no. 13, illustrated n.p.
Francesca Dini, Federico Zandomeneghi la vita e le opere, Florence, 1989, no. 75, illustrated p. 416 
Enrico Piceni, Zandomeneghi, Milan, 1991, no. 82, illustrated n.p. (titled Donna che si spoglia (Le lever: femme s’étirante))
Francesca Castellani, "Italiens de Paris?," in Degas e gli italiani a Parigi (exhibition catalogue), Palazzo dei Diamanti, Ferrara, 2003, illustrated p. 87
Fondazione Enrico Piceni, Federico Zandomeneghi, Catalogo generale, Milan, 2006, no. 124, illustrated p. 227 (titled Le lever: femme s’étirant (Donna che si spoglia)
Gotha 2008. 9° Mostra Internazionale dell’Antiquariato, Turin, 2008, illustrated p. 142 
Roberta Olcese, "Nel Gotha del tempo," in Monsieur, 2008, year 8, no. 72, illustrated pp. 137-38 


The following condition report was kindly provided by Simon Parkes Art Conservation, Inc.: This work is in excellent condition. The canvas is unlined. The painting is clean and varnished. The surface is even and shows no noticeable cracking or instability. There are a few tiny retouches in the small red item of clothing on the bottom edge near the right corner, but there do not appear to be any other retouches at all. The work should be hung as is.
In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion.

Catalogue Note

In the 1860s, the Florentine critic Diego Martelli had championed the Italian group of plein-air painters known as the Macchiaioli, who shared the same principles as the French Impressionists and influenced Federico Zandomeneghi’s early landscapes and genre scenes. Fittingly, it was likely Martelli who prompted his friend Zandomeneghi’s trip from his native Venice to Paris in 1874 after enthusiastically reporting on that year’s first Impressionist exhibition. He introduced the artist to Edgar Degas, who became particularly inspiring to "Zandò" (as he came to be known by his fellow French artists), inviting the Italian to exhibit at the fourth, fifth, sixth and eighth Impressionist exhibitions of 1879, 1880, 1881 and 1886 (Ann Dumas, Degas and the Italians in Paris (exhibition catalogue), Royal Scottish Academy, Glasgow, 2004, pp. 19-20). Zandò initially found it difficult to establish himself in Paris' competitive art market, but soon drew the attention of the powerful dealer Paul Durand-Ruel, who sponsored three one-man shows for the artist in 1893, 1897 and 1903, and handled the sale of nearly all of his work of the period—including Le Lever. Zandò’s artistic life in Paris grew to be so prolific and profitable that he never returned to Italy, and he became a fixture at the Café de la Nouvelle-Athènes along with many of the city’s avant-garde painters, writers and musicians. 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).