Mario Valentino, Naples (acquired from the above in 1985)
Thence by descent to the present owner
Dortmund, Museum am Ostwall, Gino Severini, 1976, no. 39 or 40
Alessandria, Palazzo Cuttica, Gino Severini, dal 1916 al 1936, 1987, no. 20, illustrated in colour in the catalogue
Daniela Fonti, Gino Severini, catalogo ragionato, Milan, 1988, no. 351, illustrated p. 291; illustrated in colour p. 338
The present work was executed in 1918, and during the same year Severini had a brief residence in Aix-les-Bains, where he was immediately struck by a decorative element and naïve elegance in his new home: 'in that home I had found the walls decorated with a special type of wallpaper that I enjoyed very much, giving me useful elements inspiring a few works. What had interested me the most of such wallpaper was the use, against a warm grey tone, of small black dots and white dots' (quoted in D. Fonti, op. cit., p. 36, translated from Italian). Natura morta is a wonderful and rare example of flattened, fragmented form, and a testament to the artist's innovative approach to pictorial language.
The first owner of this pair of collages by Severini (see lot 20) was the Swiss artist Jean van Berchem. A member of Groupe de Saint-Luc, van Berchem came into contact with a variety of artists including Severini and Maurice Denis. He acquired these two works directly from Severini, who was staying in Switzerland in the 1920s while working on frescos for the church at Semsales.
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