Lot 20
  • 20

GINO SEVERINI | Natura morta

400,000 - 600,000 GBP
466,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Gino Severini
  • Natura morta
  • signed G. Severini (lower right)
  • collage with corrugated card, gouache, pastel and crayon on paper laid down on board


Jean van Berchem, Geneva (acquired from the artist circa 1928; until at least 1976) Paolo Baldacci

Mario Valentino, Naples (acquired from the above in 1985)

Thence by descent to the present owner


Moscow, Museum of Western Art, Contemporary French Art, 1928, no. 95 (as dating from 1913) Romont, Musée de Romont, Gino Severini en Suisse, 1974, no. 3

Dortmund, Museum am Ostwall, Gino Severini, 1976, no. 39 or 40

Alessandria, Palazzo Cuttica, Gino Severini, dal 1916 al 1936, 1987, no. 21, illustrated in colour in the catalogue


Daniela Fonti, Gino Severini, catalogo ragionato, Milan, 1988, no. 352, illustrated p. 291; illustrated in colour p. 339

Catalogue Note

'He was - and this was his originality, even, doubtless, his greatness - the bridge between Futurism and Cubism' (Bernard Dorival, quoted in Futurism (exhibition catalogue), Tate Modern, London, 2009, p. 242). Severini’s pioneering geometric compositions formed part of the artist’s fervent creative research into the language of Cubism. In the present work, numerous trompe-l’œil effects are achieved through the use of motifs that have now become icons of cubist art: a fruit bowl with grapes and peaches, and tossed out playing cards all set on a schematic table. The pasted papers which make up the composition are intercalated so intimately that it is impossible to sort them out or even to assign them differing status. Together they create a beautifully serene and harmonious patterning, a mixing and matching of cut-out and painted-in figurative subjects.

The series of still-lifes Severini executed in 1916-18 charter a remarkable development in his work towards a Cubist construction of the composition. The Futurist movement as an artistic entity had come to an end with the outbreak of the war in 1914 and in the period that followed Severini developed a planer treatment of form based on proportionate relations explored by the Cubist artists. Severini focused his art on what he called the 'universal movement' through Cubism, in which he constructed and deconstructed physical space in a rational and geometrical practice. In his autobiography Severini noted how he began to abandon the study of objects and figures in motion after 1914, becoming drawn almost automatically towards solid forms and to the concept of the construction of the composition, and ultimately creating a synthesis between them: 'My idea, which was shared by many Cubists and approved by Matisse himself, was to carry artistic expression to a level that reconciles the desire for extreme vitality (dynamism) of the Futurists with the intention of construction, of classicism, and of the style used by Cubists' (G. Severini, La Vita, Rome, 1983, p. 208).