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8

Maurice Denis

Déjeuner du matin, d'après Filippo Lippi ou La Becquée

Property from the Estate of the Artist | Provenant de la Succession de l'Artiste

Maurice Denis

Maurice Denis

Déjeuner du matin, d'après Filippo Lippi ou La Becquée

Déjeuner du matin, d'après Filippo Lippi ou La Becquée

Property from the Estate of the Artist

Maurice Denis

1870 - 1943

Déjeuner du matin, d'après Filippo Lippi ou La Becquée


monogramed MAVD (towards lower left); monogramed MAV.D., situated FLORENCE and dated 98 (on the frame)

oil on canvas

44,2 x 53,2 cm; 173/8 x 21 in.

Painted in 1898.


The authenticity of this work has been confirmed by Claire Denis.

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Provenant de la Succession de l'Artiste

Maurice Denis

1870 - 1943

Déjeuner du matin, d'après Filippo Lippi ou La Becquée


monogramé MAVD (vers le bas gauche); monogramé MAV.D.,

situé FLORENCE et daté 98 (sur le cadre)

huile sur toile

44,2 x 53,2 cm; 173/8 x 21 in.

Peint en 1898.


L'authenticité de cette œuvre a été confirmée par Claire Denis.

The work has been examined framed. Canvas is not lined. There are thin lines of craquelure throughout the composition. There is a vertical line running from the top to the bottom edges towards the left quarter of the composition (as visible in the catalogue illustration). Examination under UV light reveals scattered tiny spots of cosmetic retouching to the face of the mother, to the aforementioned vertical line and in other minor areas of the composition. This work is in overall good condition.



Please note: Condition XVI of the Conditions of Business for Buyers (Online Only) is not applicable to this lot. (Veuillez noter que l'Article XVI des Conditions Générales de Vente applicables aux Vendeurs (Ventes Effectuées Exclusivement en Ligne) n'est pas applicable pour ce lot.)


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. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colors and shades which are different to the lot's actual color 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. The condition report is a statement of opinion only. For that reason, the condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.

Marthe Denis, France (the artist's wife)

Maurice Denis, France

Elisabeth Denis, France (the artist's second wife)

Pauline Denis-Dejean, France

Luc Dejean, France

Thence by descent to the present owner

André Pératé, ''Maurice Denis'' in L'Art et les artistes, No. 41, Paris, November 1923, mentioned p. 58

Suzanne Barazzetti, Maurice Denis, Paris, 1945, mentioned p. 281 (titled Maternité à Fiesole)

Paris, Galerie Vollard, Exposition des œuvres de MM. P. Bonnard, M. Denis, Ibels, G. Lacombe, Ranson, Rasetti, Roussel, P. Sérusier, Vallotton, Vuillard, 1897, no. 22 (probably; titled Etudes d'après des Maîtres florentins, Déjeûner (Filippo Lippi)

Paris, Galerie Eugène Druet, Maurice Denis, 1904, no. 9

Neuss, Clemens-Sels Museum, Maurice Denis, 1954, no. 9 (probably; titled Maternité à Fiesole)

Lyon, Musée des Beaux-Arts; Cologne, Wallraf-Richartz Museum; Liverpool, Walker Art Gallery & Amsterdam, Van Gogh Museum, Maurice Denis, 1994-95, no. 98, illustrated in the catalogue p. 248

Rodez, Musée Denys-Puech, Maurice Denis. Enfances, 2009, illustrated in the catalogue p. 43

Kitakyushu, Municipal Museum of Art; Tokyo, Seiji Togo Memorial Sompo Japan Museum of Art & Yamanashi, Prefectural Museum of Art, Exposition Maurice Denis, Le matin de la vie, 2011-12, no. 19, illustrated in the catalogue p. 61

A fervent Catholic and admirer of the Italian Renaissance, Maurice Denis was particularly sensitive to the works of Fra Angelico, Sandro Botticelli and especially the elegant Virgins of Filippo Lippi.

In the spring of 1895, Maurice Denis made his first trip to Italy. In the winter of 1898, accompanied by his wife Marthe and his daughter Noële, he stayed in Fiesole at Ernest Chausson's house, the Villa Papiniano, before discovering Rome with André Gide. The villa inspired him greatly and became the setting for numerous compositions, including Déjeuner du matin, d'après Filippo Lippi. In this title, Maurice Denis thus directly quotes the master of the Quattrocento. But, if the delicacy and elegance of the young woman's features, the arabesque curves of her blouse and her long, slender fingers evoke Lippi's graceful Virgins, Maurice Denis is not simply making a copy. In fact, he transposes the subject to the family sphere and depicts Marthe feeding Noële, from her bed. The birth of the child, shortly after the death of Jean-Paul, their first son, brings great joy to the family. The "chatty and very mischievous" little girl (Diary I, October 10, 1897, p. 123) inspired her father with these maternity scenes, immortalizing maternal love and family happiness. In a serene atmosphere, with soft blue light, Marthe looks tenderly at her daughter and embraces her, indifferent to the magnificent landscape visible from the window.


Both realistic and symbolist, intimate and decorative, traditional and modern, the references of this painting are multiple. With its landscaped background and the importance given to the drawing, whose grayed tones imitate the technique of fresco, the canvas is first of all a true homage to Italian painting. The false frame, with its cut sides refers to the decor of Italian palatial architecture but also to the mural decorations of the Nabis. The flatness of the composition, the flat tints and the modernity of the subject itself replace this painting in its contemporary context. True to the Nabi philosophy, the painting was originally set in a wood panel above a mirror in the family home of Maurice Denis, rightly called the Nabi of beautiful icons.

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Fervent catholique et admirateur de la Renaissance italienne, Maurice Denis est particulièrement sensible aux œuvres de Fra Angelico, Sandro Botticelli et surtout aux élégantes Vierges de Filippo Lippi. Dès le printemps 1895, Denis effectue son premier séjour en Italie. A l'hiver 1898, accompagné de sa femme Marthe et de sa fille Noële, il séjourne à Fiesole chez Ernest Chausson, à la villa Papiniano, avant de découvrir Rome avec André Gide. La villa l'inspire grandement et devient le cadre de nombreuses compositions dont Déjeuner du matin, d'après Filippo Lippi. Dans son titre, Maurice Denis cite donc directement le maître du Quattrocento. Mais, si la délicatesse et l'élégance des traits de la jeune femme, les courbes en arabesque de sa chemise et ses longs doigts fins évoquent les gracieuses Vierges de Lippi, Maurice Denis ne réalise pas ici une simple copie. En effet, il transpose le sujet à la sphère familiale et représente Marthe en train de donner "la becquée" à Noële, depuis son lit. La naissance de l'enfant, peu après la mort de Jean-Paul, leur premier fils, apporte une grande joie à la famille. La petite fille "bavarde et malicieuse" (Journal I, 10 octobre 1897, p. 123), inspire à son père ces scènes de maternités, immortalisant l'amour maternel et le bonheur familial. Dans une atmosphère sereine, à la douce lumière bleutée, Marthe regarde tendrement sa fille et l'enlace, indifférente au magnifique paysage visible depuis la fenêtre.


A la fois réaliste et symboliste, intimiste et décoratif, traditionnel et moderne, les références de cette toile sont multiples. Par son arrière-plan paysagé et l'importance accordée au dessin dont les teintes grisées imitent la technique de la fresque, la toile est d'abord un véritable hommage à la peinture italienne. Le faux cadre aux pans coupés renvoie quant à lui au décor des architectures palatiales italiennes mais également aux décors muraux des Nabis. La planéité, les aplats cernés et la modernité même du sujet replacent ainsi cette peinture dans sa contemporanéité. Fidèle à la philosophie Nabi, le tableau était d'ailleurs à l'origine enchâssé dans une boiserie au-dessus d'une glace, dans la demeure familiale de Maurice Denis, justement surnommé le "Nabi aux belles icônes".