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Details & Cataloguing

Impressionist and Modern Art

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Paris

Anto Carte
1886 - 1954
LES MUSICIENS AVEUGLES
signed anto.carte and dated 1927 (lower right)
oil on canvas
105,5 x 98,5 cm; 41 1/2 x 38 3/4 in.
Painted in 1927.
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Provenance

Paul Tondreau, Mons (1959)
Sale: Galerie Moderne, Brussels, October 24, 2006, lot 287
Acquired at the above sale by the present owner

Exhibited

Mons, Palais des Beaux-Arts, Rétrospective Anto Carte, 1949, no. 94
Brussels, Palais des Beaux-Arts, Anto Carte, 1959, no. 21 (incorrectly dated 1928)

Catalogue Note

As a humanist painter primarily interested in the human condition, Anto Carte was a member of the 'Belgian Imagists' group, alongside artists such as Valerius de Saedeleer and Gustave van de Woestyne, with whom he exhibited in 1923 in Paris. This composition, Les musiciens aveugles, is part of a cycle of works in which Anto Carto featured travelling musicians and musical instruments. He often combined this theme with the subject of the blind, rendering his own vision of the iconography of Bruegel’s The Blind Leading the Blind (1568). It expresses the blind musician’s inner world, his strange, timeless universe and his original creativity. This theme of insight and withdrawal into the self is often found in the work of the Expressionists, who did, in part, influence Anto Carte. In Les musiciens aveugles, Anto Carte draws the viewer’s full attention to the blind musicians’ faces and hands. Regardless of whether he is portraying peasants, labourers, miners, fisherman or street performers, the human figure is central to Anto Carte’s work. By painting men of varying social status, who are shown giving money to a woman carrying a child in the background, he depicts poverty, but also dignity and solidarity.
This painting reveals Anto Carte’s propensity for audacious compositions; he often used particularly innovative perspectives and points of view. The precision of the drawing, the smooth texture of the paint which has been handled with great care, and the rich chromatic symphonies are all characteristic of the work of this artist, who became the founder of the Groupe Nervia (1928-1938). Anto Carte’s technique involves the precise use of line which makes the figures’ silhouettes stand out, thus giving rise here to a poignant expressivity. The monumental figures in the foreground, the original perspective and stylized volumes are particularly characteristic of the refinement of Anto Carte’s art, which seems to endow this scene with a sense of timelessness.

Impressionist and Modern Art

|
Paris