Property of a Distinguished Collector
1886 - 1962
Nu dans une orangerie
signed J. majorelle lower right
distemper, gouache and pastel on paper, heightened with metallic and gold pigments
45 by 53cm., 17¾ by 21in.
The artist's sheet has been glued at its four corners onto a backing board, thus preventing inspection of the back.
Colours are strong and vibrant.
This work is in very good condition and is ready to hang.
Presented glazed, in a decorative gilt frame.
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.
Jane Roberts Fine Arts, Paris
Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2015
Félix Marcilhac, Amélie Marcilhac, Jacques Majorelle (1886-1962), Paris, 2017, p. 290 no. 96, catalogued & illustrated
By the mid 1930s, Majorelle had turned from painting Morocco's vibrant kasbahs and landscapes to exploring the human figure close up, and the nude in particular. Painted circa 1940-45, Nu dans une orangerie epitomises the artist’s new approach and technique, distinguished by clear lines and the experimental use of materials.
Recalling Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres’ iconic Grande Odalisque of 1814, Majorelle reinvents the archetypal classical nude using metallic pigments to set his model's body into relief. Following in the footsteps of his illustrious predecessors, among them Ingres, Delacroix and Gérôme, Majorelle introduced a whole new pictorial language to the genre of Orientalism, founded on the latest artistic currents and notably the work of fellow painter Henri Matisse.
Majorelle’s first encounter with North Africa came in 1917 at the age of thirty-one. Landing at Tangiers, he was immediately captivated by the country's light, atmosphere, topography and people, and would eventually spend the rest of his life there. In an interview in 1934 Majorelle stated: ‘I want to dedicate myself now to the study of the human characters of this country not just to draw them and paint them, but to represent them'.