Lot 11
  • 11


2,000,000 - 3,000,000 USD
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  • Maurice de Vlaminck
  • Nu couché
  • Oil on canvas
  • 11 by 16 1/2 in.
  • 28 by 42 cm
  • Painted in 1905.


Étienne Bignou, Paris

Paul Kantor Gallery, Beverly Hills

Galerie Beyeler, Basel (acquired by 1960)

Maurice Laffaille, Paris (acquired from the above in 1966)

Private Collection, Switzerland

Acquired in 1971


(possibly) Paris, Petit Palais, Les Maîtres de l'Art indépendant, 1895-1937, 1937, no. 4

Basel, Galerie Beyeler, La Femme, 1960, no. 15, illustrated in the catalogue

Bern, Kunstmuseum, Vlaminck, 1961, no. 131a

Paris, Galerie Charpentier, Les Fauves, 1962, no. 136

Toronto, Art Gallery of Ontario, The Fauves, 1975, no. 18, illustrated in color in the catalogue

New York, The Museum of Modern Art; San Francisco, The San Francisco Museum of Art & Fort Worth, Texas, The Kimbell Art Museum, The "Wild Beasts”: Fauvism and Its Affinities, 1976, no. 107, illustrated in the catalogue (titled Reclining Nude and dated 1905-06)

Yamaguchi, Yamaguchi Prefectural Museum of Art; Nagoya, Aichi Prefectural Museum of Art; Kanazawa, Ishikawa Prefectural Museum of Art & Tokyo, Nihonbashi Takashimaya Art Galleries, Exposition Maurice de Vlaminck, 1982, no. 3, illustrated in color in the catalogue

Nottingham, Nottingham Castle Museum, Sounds of Colour, 1984, no. 7

London, Hayward Gallery, Sounds of Colour, 1988, no. 9

Nagoya, Aichi Prefectural Museum of Art; Kyoto, The National Museum of Modern Art & Tokyo, The National Museum of Modern Art, Fauvism and Modern Japanese Painting, 1992-93, no. 61, illustrated in color in the catalogue (dated 1905-06)

Sydney, Art Gallery of New South Wales & Melbourne, National Gallery of Victoria, Fauves, 1995-96, no. 84, illustrated in color in the catalogue

Tel Aviv, Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Fauvism "Wild Beasts", 1996, no. 55, illustrated in color in the catalogue

Saint-Paul-de-Vence, Fondation Maeght, Le Nu au XXe siècle, 2000, no. 153, illustrated in color in the catalogue

London, The Courtauld Gallery, Fauve Painting 1905-7: The Triumph of Pure Colour, 2001, no. 5, illustrated in color in the catalogue

London, The Courtauld Gallery, 2002-18 (on loan)


Gotthard Jedlicka, Der Fauvismus, Zurich, 1961, no. 52, illustrated n.p.

Gaston Diehl, Les Fauves, Paris, 1971, illustrated in color pl. XXXIV

Gaston Diehl, The Fauves, New York, 1975, illustrated in color p. 103

Jean Melas-Kyriazi, Le Nu féminin dans l'École de Paris, Lausanne, 1975, illustrated in color p. 163

Marcel Giry, Fauvism: Origins and Development, New York, 1981, no. 92, illustrated in color n.p. (dated 1906)

Sarah Whitfield, Fauvism, London, 1991, no. 155, illustrated in color p. 179 (dated 1906)

Jean-Louis Ferrier, Les Fauves: le règne de la couleur, Paris, 1992, illustrated in color p. 95 (dated 1906)

Niamh O’Laoghaire, The Influence of Van Gogh on Matisse, Derain and Vlaminck, 1898-1908, PhD Dissertation, The University of Toronto, 1992, illustrated pl. 86

Bernard Zürcher, Les Fauves, Paris, 1995, illustrated in color p. 135 (dated 1906)

Sarah Whitfield, Le Fauvisme, Paris, 1997, no. 155, illustrated in color p. 179 (dated 1906)

Judi Freeman, The Fridart Collection: Nineteenth and Twentieth-Century Modern Masterworks, London, 1998, illustrated in color p. 32

The Courtauld Institute of Art, ed., The 20th Century at the Courtauld Institute Gallery, London, 2002, illustrated in color p. 31

Maïthé Vallès-Bled, Vlaminck, Catalogue critique des peintures et céramiques de la période fauve, 1900-1907, Paris, 2008, no. 90, illustrated in color p. 224

Catalogue Note

Painted with remarkable spontaneity and dynamism, Vlaminck’s portrait of a reclining nude is one of his most visually arresting figurative compositions. One of a small number of nudes from the artist’s oeuvre, Nu couché represents an exceptionally rare moment in Vlaminck’s production. During the Fauve years, Vlaminck had remained mostly in and around Chatou, but made periodic visits to Paris to remain connected to the avant-garde scene. Nu couché depicts a dancer from Le Rat mort—one of the infamous cabarets of Montmartre— and features one of the more common themes in fin-de-siècle Parisian art: the decadence and visual spectacle of nightlife. The raucous and often sordid environment of the Le Rat mort cabaret and its occupants were featured in the paintings of Degas, Manet and Toulouse-Lautrec in the previous century. Their re-appearance in the art of the Fauves, particularly Kees van Dongen, serves to confirm the continuing allure of music halls and cabarets well into the twentieth century. Vlaminck’s figure in Nu couché is tantalizing in her blatant display of nudity, lying provocatively prostrate on a couch that is suggested only through large fields of color, partially covered by a cloth. The stark whiteness of the figure’s heavily made-up face powerfully contrasts with the vibrant palette of her flesh and of the background. The undulating outlines of the figure diverge with the strong vertical brushstrokes of pure color that define the setting behind her. As with many of Vlaminck’s nudes a black outline gives structure to the figure’s form; the artist uses this device in partner with coordinating tones to define details within the solid swathes of pigment that construct her body. Within the Fauvist group Vlaminck was particularly close to André Derain, whom he had met in 1900 when the train they were both traveling on derailed outside of Paris. After this encounter, Vlaminck rented a studio where he and Derain set out on an independent course to break the boundaries of Impressionism through the use of a radically unorthodox palette, non-naturalistic color and a more abstract arrangement of space. Years later, when Derain returned to Paris from the south of France, he rented a studio on the rue Tourlaque, near Le Rat mort, and there the two friends embarked on a painterly investigation of various cabaret denizens. The resulting compositions are daring in their experimentation and expressive use of color to depict the human body.