Property of an Important Private Collector
signed Levy / Dhurmer lower right
pastel on paper
63 by 55cm., 25 by 21½in.
framed: 71.5 by 64cm., 28 by 25in.
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Please note, Condition 11 of the Conditions of Business for Buyers (Online Only) is no applicable to this lot
The artist's sheet has been laid on board thus preventing inspection of the reverse. There are some marks along the edges possibly due to framing. The sheet has been cut along the right edge. Colours are bright and this work is overall in good condition.
Presented glazed, in a decorative gilt frame.
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
Galerie Mona Lisa, Paris (by 1930)
Crane Kalman Gallery, London
Private collection, London (purchased from the above in the 1970s; sale: Sotheby's, London, 23 November 2010, lot 132)
Purchased at the above sale by the present owner
Lucien Lévy-Dhurmer trained at the Ecole Supérieure de Dessin et Sculpture in Paris. After a trip to Venice in 1895, he returned to Paris and had his first one-man show at the Galerie Georges Petit in 1896.
It was around this time that Lévy-Dhurmer started to work primarily in pastels, a medium which gave his compositions an ethereal, velvety texture and soft tonal contrasts which heighten their dream-like qualities. His talent was discovered by the Belgian Symbolist writer Georges Rodenbach, a popular poet in Paris, for his book Bruges-la-Morte of 1892, who helped to popularise the artist's work both in France and Belgium.
As Jean Cassou has pointed out: '[Lévy-Dhurmer's] pastels reveal an artist who can reconcile a technique of academic precision with an Impressionist vision of the world, and can thus treat his Symbolist subjects loaded with mystery.' (Concise Encyclopaedia of Symbolism, Ware, 1984, p. 99). The present work bears clear parallels to the work of Henri Le Sidaner and Claude Monet, both of whom evoked the grandeur and mystery of Venice in their work, and also, like Lévy-Dhurmer, exhibited at Galerie Georges Petit.