JACQUES-EMILE BLANCHE | JEAN COCTEAU
JACQUES-EMILE BLANCHE | JEAN COCTEAU
Lot Closed
JACQUES-EMILE BLANCHE | JEAN COCTEAU
JACQUES-EMILE BLANCHE | JEAN COCTEAU
JACQUES-EMILE BLANCHE | JEAN COCTEAU
21

JACQUES-EMILE BLANCHE | JEAN COCTEAU

Estimate: 120,000 - 180,000 EUR

JACQUES-EMILE BLANCHE | JEAN COCTEAU

Estimate: 120,000 - 180,000 EUR

Description

JACQUES-EMILE BLANCHE

1861 - 1942

JEAN COCTEAU


dedicated à Madame Cocteau, signed J. E. Blanche and dated 1913 (lower left)

oil on canvas

94,1 x 83 cm; 37 x 32⅝ in.

Painted in 1913.


This work is recorded in the online Catalogue Raisonné of Jacques-Emile Blanche by Jane Roberts and Muriel Molines (www.jeblanche-catalogue.com) under the number RM 1341.

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JACQUES-EMILE BLANCHE

1861 - 1942

JEAN COCTEAU


dédicacé à Madame Cocteau, signé J. E. Blanche et daté 1913 (en bas à gauche)

huile sur toile

94,1 x 83 cm; 37 x 32⅝ in.

Peint en 1913.


Cette œuvre est référencée dans le catalogue raisonné en ligne de Jacques-Emile Blanche de Jane Roberts et Muriel Molines (www.jeblanche-catalogue.com) sous le numéro RM 1341.

Condition report

It has been possible to examine the work out of its frame. The canvas is not lined. There is a milky and uneven varnish preventing UV light from fully penetrating. However examination under UV light appears to reveal a small area of retouching to the man’s proper right shoulder, associated with a patch on the reverse, two additional spots of retouching to his proper right forearm and tiny dots of retouching to his proper right eye. There is some frame rubbing along the extreme edges, associated with dots of paint loss and a few scattered dots of superficial dirt. There is a few minor scratches in areas. There are a few areas of paint shrinkage, most predominately to the left part of the composition. This work is in overall 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."

Provenance

Mrs. Georges Cocteau, Paris (mother of Jean Cocteau)

Paul Cocteau, Paris (brother of Jean Cocteau; by descent)

Sale: Hôtel Drouot, Paris, December 18, 2014, lot 70

Acquired at the above sale by the present owner

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Mme Georges Cocteau, Paris (mère de Jean Cocteau)

Paul Cocteau, Paris (frère de Jean Cocteau; par descendance)

Vente: Hôtel Drouot, Paris, 18 décembre 2014, lot 70

Acquis lors de cette vente par le propriétaire actuel

Exhibited

Paris, Hôtel Jean Charpentier, Peintures, pastels et lithographies de Jacques-Emile Blanche, 1924, no. 57 (titled M. Jean Cocteau (en blazer))

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Paris, Hôtel Jean Charpentier, Peintures, pastels et lithographies de Jacques-Emile Blanche, 1924, no. 57 (sous le titre M. Jean Cocteau (en blazer))

Catalogue note

This portrait was painted during Jean Cocteau’s stay in Offranville, near Dieppe, where Jacques-Emile Blanche had been renting the Manoir du Tôt since 1902. Blanche and Cocteau met in 1907, when the young poet was only eighteen years old. It was during a stay in Normandy with Jacques-Emile Blanche that he began writing Le Potomak, an ‘inner autobiography’ composed of texts and drawings featuring the ‘Eugènes’ and the ‘Mortimers’.


In his dedication to Stravinsky, Cocteau confirmed: ‘The comic strip Les Eugènes came to me in a country living room where your music was played to me every day.’ This country living room is in fact the one where the poet is shown in this painting. Seated in a three-quarters pose in front of the fireplace, he is wearing a cricket blazer (which would have belonged to the painter) and white sports trousers, and is holding a pipe in his hand.


This portrait contrasts with the other four known portraits of the poet by Jacques-Emile Blanche, all painted during the same era. With the exception of the one that shows him standing in the garden of Offranville, those portraits are all much more worldly. By comparison, this portrait is full of life and exudes a spontaneity that one rarely finds in Blanche’s work. Having spent a month with the poet, and having watched him work tirelessly, read his poems, engage in conversation and do impressions, the painter undoubtedly captured his human dimension.


The other four portraits all belong to public collections: two are kept at the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Rouen, one is in the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Grenoble, and the last one is in the Musée Jean Cocteau in Milly-la-Forêt. This portrait is the last one to be privately owned.

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Ce portrait fut peint lors d’un séjour de Jean Cocteau à Offranville, près de Dieppe, où Jacques-Emile Blanche louait depuis 1902 le manoir du Tôt. Blanche et Cocteau se rencontrent dans "le monde" en 1907, alors que le jeune poète n’est âgé que de dix-huit ans. C’est lors d’un séjour en Normandie chez Jacques-Emile Blanche qu’il se lance dans l’écriture du Potomak, "autobiographie intérieure" composée de textes et de dessins mettant en scène les "Eugènes" et les "Mortimer".

Ce que confirme Cocteau dans sa dédicace à Stravinsky : "L’Album des Eugènes s’est imposé à moi dans un salon de campagne où, chaque jour, on me jouait ta musique." Ce salon de campagne, c’est bien celui dans lequel pose le poète sur ce tableau. Assis de trois quarts devant la cheminée, il est vêtu d’une veste de joueur de cricket (qui aurait appartenu au peintre), d’un pantalon de sport blanc et tient une pipe à la main.


Ce portrait tranche avec les quatre autres portraits du poète par Jacques-Emile Blanche que nous connaissons, tous peints à la même époque. Si l’on excepte celui en pied dans le jardin d’Offranville, ce sont tous des portraits beaucoup plus mondains. En comparaison, ce portrait respire la vie et dégage une spontanéité que l’on rencontre rarement dans l’œuvre de Blanche. C’est sans doute que, ayant passé un mois avec lui, l’ayant observé travailler sans relâche, lire ses poèmes, mener la conversation, faire des imitations, le peintre a saisi la dimension humaine du poète.

Les quatre autres portraits appartiennent tous à des collections publiques : deux sont conservés au Musée des Beaux-arts de Rouen, un au Musée des Beaux-arts de Grenoble et le dernier au Musée Jean Cocteau de Milly-la-Forêt. Ce portrait est le dernier en mains privées.