E. Gille, Theux Sale: Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels, December 6, 2004, lot 80 Acquired at the above sale by the present owner
Leuven, Museum M, on loan in 2018
Albert Guislain, Anto Carte, Antwerp, 1950, illustrated p. 52
As a humanist painter, primarily interested in the human condition, Anto Carte was part of the "Belgian Imagists" group alongside artists such as Valerius de Saedeleer or Gustave van de Woestyne with whom he exhibited in 1923 in Paris. painted in 1921, this painting is part of a cycle of works painted by Anto Carte after his encounter with Emile Verhaeren in Paris at the end of the 1910s.
The human figure is central to Anto Carte’s work. Whether he depicts peasants, laborers, miners, fishermen or acrobats, his art is a perpetual philosophical reflection on human destiny. The Belgian painter captured here a portrait of the human condition in this work of monumental austerity which throws the spectator into a deep introspective meditation.
The present painting reveals Anto Carte’s propensity for audacious compositions and the use of particularly innovative perspective and points of view. The precise drawings is characteristic of the work of this artist who became the founder of the Nervia group (1928-1938). Anto Carte’s technique involves a precise use of line which highlights the silhouettes against the background, thus giving rise here to a poignant expressivity. The daring presentation used here, with the sculptural and monumental figures in the foreground, the original perspective and the stylized volumes are particularly characteristic of the refinement of Anto Carte’s art which seems to endow this scene with a feeling of eternity.
It has not been possible to examine the work entirely unframed. The canvas is not lined and is slightly undulating. Examination under UV light reveals no evidence of retouching. There are a few small dots of paint loss in places, possibly inherent to the artist's technique. There are superficial scratches, also probably inherent to the medium used. There is some frame rubbing along the extreme edges with a few associated dots of paint loss. Impasto is very nice and well preserved. This work is in overall very good condition. "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. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."