Property from an American Private Collection
Polish, 1877 - 1954
WOMAN IN PROFILE
signed B. Biegas lower right
oil on canvas
45.5 by 36cm., 18 by 14¼in.
framed: 57.6 by 47.4cm., 22½ by 18½in.
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The canvas has been relined and is securely attached to a keyed wooden stretcher, possibly the original.
There are some minor paint losses along the extreme left and upper framing edges.
Inspection under ultra-violet light reveals some isolated spots of cosmetic retouching and 2 cross-shaped areas, possibly addressing old tears, closer to the centre of the right and left framing edge respectively. These are also visible upon close inspection although not distracting to the naked eye.
Overall, this work presents well and is in good condition.
Presented in a frame painted by the artist himself.
The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot provided by Sotheby's. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colours and shades which are different to the lot's actual colour and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation because Sotheby's is not a professional conservator or restorer but rather the condition report is a statement of opinion genuinely held by Sotheby's. For that reason, Sotheby's condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot.
Whitford & Hughes Gallery, London
Purchased from the above by the present owner in 1982
Bolesław Biegas was a Polish sculptor, painter and writer. Initially affiliated with the Symbolist movement, Biegas gradually embraced a more modern, geometric style. Having moved to Paris to further his artistic education and career, Biegas drew inspiration from Cubism and Futurism. The Salon de la Section d'Or of October 1912 had a formative influence on the artist. This exhibition of two hundred cubist works, held at Galerie la Boétie in Paris, showcased the work of artists such as František Kupka, Jean Metzinger, Albert Gleizes, Fernand Leger, Robert Delaunay and Archipenko. From 1912 onwards, circular forms appeared in the works of these prominent avant-garde artists. From this nucleus, a number of new artistic movements originated that would have a noticeable impact on Biegas, such as Orphism and Spherism.
Spherism, in which figures are composed entirely of circles, became a hallmark of Biegas’ artistic output from the mid 1910s. In 1919, Biegas exhibited forty of these spherical works at the Sociéte d'Art Tanit in the Pavillon de Magny on Avenue Victor Hugo. Woman in Profile is part of this series of spherical portraits. While it closely relates to the contemporary experiments of Kupka, Gleizes and Delaunay, it also has clear parallels with Italian Futurism and foreshadows Abstraction.