JACQUES MAJORELLE | SOUS LES PALMIERS DATTIERS
Property from an American Private Collection
1886 - 1962
SOUS LES PALMIERS DATTIERS
signed J. Majorelle/ Marrakech lower left
gouache and pastel heightened with metallic pigments
painting: 104.5 by 82cm., 41 by 32¼in.
framed: 134 by 113.5cm., 52¾ by 44½in.
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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 medium is strong. Colours are vibrant and well preserved.
The artist's sheet is somewhat undulated and has been hinged to a backing board along its edges thus preventing inspection of the reverse. With the exception of some pin-head sized holes visible along the four edges and of some old repaired tears along the lower framing edge and in the upper right corner respectively (all of which are covered by the frame), this work is in good condition and is ready to hang.
Presented glazed and framed.
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.
Purchased by the present owner circa 2009
Félix Marcilhac, Amélie Marcilhac, Jacques Majorelle (1886-1962), répertoire de l’œuvre peint, Paris, 2017, p. 287, no. 69, catalogued & illustrated
Painted circa 1933-34.
The son of celebrated art nouveau furniture designer Louis Majorelle, Jacques Majorelle introduced a whole new pictorial language to the genre of Orientalism, founded on the latest art deco currents and notably the work of Henri Matisse. Adopting a revolutionary fresh style and experimental mixed media techniques including the use of powdered metal pigments to give the surface of his paintings their distinctive reflective qualities, he drew inspiration from the local Moroccan tribes, their costumes, and traditions, as well as the landscapes of Marrakech and the Atlas Mountains. The present work is striking not only on account of its scale and vibrant palette, but for being a nocturne, the chiaroscuro and moonlight reflections on the women's skin lending the painting a sense of drama and mystique.
Majorelle received his art education at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Nancy and later at the Académie Julian in Paris. He first exhibited at the Salon des Beaux Arts 1908. In 1917 he travelled to Morocco, falling in love with the colours and quality of light of Marrakech where he settled permanently. In 1923, Majorelle bought a four-acre plot on the border of a palm grove and began planting a luxuriant garden. Initially, he built a house, the Villa Bou Saf-Saf, in the Moroccan style but in 1931 commissioned architect Paul Sinoir to design a Cubist villa within the grounds. In 1937, he painted the villa in a unique shade of blue, which he finessed after being inspired by the blue tiles prevalent in southern Morocco. Majorelle used the colour, which now carries his name, Majorelle Blue, not only in his house and garden, but in his paintings too, including in the present work to evoke the night sky.