Lot 410
  • 410

MARTHE DONAS | Abstraction d'une statuette

20,000 - 30,000 EUR
bidding is closed


  • Marthe Donas
  • Abstraction d'une statuette
  • signed DONAS and dated 1927 (lower left); titled ABSTRACTION d'UNE Statuette, signed DONAS, situated Bruxelles and dated août 1927 (on the reverse)
  • oil on cardboard
  • 43,7 x 43,7 cm; 16 7/8 x 16 7/8 in.
  • Painted in 1927.


Artist's studio, Ittre
Maurits and Suzanne Bilcke, Tervuren (acquired directly from the artist in 1961)
Henri-Jean Brouwers (1918-1994), Brussels (acquired from the above after 1961)
Thence by descent to the present owner


Brussels, Galerie Eddy's Studio; Paris, Galerie Marguerite-Henry, Le groupe L'Assaut, 1928
Brussels, Musées royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique; Antwerp, Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, L'avant-Garde en Belgique 1917-1929, 1992, no. 56, illustrated in the catalogue p. 206


Peter J. H. Pauwels & Kristien Boon, Marthe Donas, A Woman Artist in the International Avant-Garde, Ghent, 2015, illustrated p. 218

Catalogue Note

The Belgian artist Marthe Donas (1885-1967), who is gradually being rediscovered internationally, shot to fame in the years around 1920. It was via Paris rather than Belgium, however that she came to be part of an international artistic network which included key figures like Alexander Archipenko, Nathalia Goncharova, Amedeo Modigliani, Theo Van Doesburg, Herwarth Walden and Enrico Prampolini. Born in Antwerp, Donas came into contact with cubism in Paris during the First World War. She met the sculptor Archipenko in 1917 during a visit to the Côte d'Azur. Their intensive collaboration led to several outstanding artworks and to an intimate personal relationship. Convinced of the quality of her work, she adopted the androgynous pseudonym 'Tour Donas', having been persuaded by her artist friends that she was 'to good' to exhibit under a female name.

By 1919 Archipenko and Donas were back in Paris, where they were actively involved in the relaunch of the artists circle 'La Section d'Or'. Her work travelled around Europe in the Section's group exhibitions in Paris, the Netherlands, Brussels, Geneva and Rome. Herwarth Walden showed her paintings from 1920 on at his Berlin Gallery 'Der Sturm', where four of them were bought by Katherine Dreier for her 'Société Anonyme'-Collection (now at Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven).

In 1923 Donas returned to Belgium. Around 1927 she renewed her connections with the Brussels' avant-garde. She became a member of the artist group 'L'Assaut' and exhibited with them a year later at the galerie Marguerite-Henry in Paris.

Peter J.H. Pauwels