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Property from the Collection of Seymour Stein

Paul Cadmus

Mallorcan Fishermen

Auction Closed

May 18, 09:51 PM GMT


200,000 - 300,000 USD

Lot Details


Property from the Collection of Seymour Stein

Paul Cadmus

1904 - 1999

Mallorcan Fishermen

signed Paul Cadmus (lower left) 

oil on canvas 

22 by 20 ⅛ in.

55.8 by 50.8 cm.

Executed in 1932.

Lincoln Kirstein, New York (acquired directly from the artist)
The School of American Ballet, New York (a gift from the estate of the above)
Christie's New York, 1 December 1989, lot 134 (consigned by the above)
Acquired from the above by the present owner
Lincoln Kirstein, Paul Cadmus, New York, 1984, p. 18, illustrated
Guy Davenport, The Drawings of Paul Cadmus, New York, 1989, p. 14, illustrated
New York, The New York Cultural Center with Fairleigh Dickinson University, Collectors Anonymous: Four Private New York Collections, 1972
New York, American Academy of Arts and Letters, Paul Cadmus: Yesterday and Today, 1975
New York, American Academy of Arts and Letters; Oxford, Ohio, Miami University Art Museum; Wichita, Kansas, Wichita State University; Charleston, Gibbs Art Gallery; Storrs, Connecticut, William Benton Museum of Art; Yonkers, The Hudson River Museum, Paul Cadmus: Yesterday and Today, 1981-82

Paul Cadmus produced the present work during an extended stay in the Mallorcan fishing village of Puerto de Andraitx. In 1931, he traveled to France and Spain with his partner and fellow artist Jared French, where Cadmus became particularly drawn to scenes of fishermen. According to Lincoln Kirstein, author of the monograph Paul Cadmus, the theme of “masculine comradeship” prevails in this painting (Lincoln Kirstein, Paul Cadmus, New York, 1984, p. 16). Two central figures playfully wrestle one another, while the remaining crewmen observe and converse. Cadmus effectively captures a moment of leisure and highlights the sense of comradery enjoyed aboard the vessel.

Cadmus utilized only himself and French as models to create this dynamic arrangement of figures (ibid). The ability to construct such a multifaceted composition from just two models speaks to the artist’s mastery of human form. In fact, Cadmus was deeply inspired by Italian Renaissance techniques and his study of Renaissance musculature greatly informs his approach to painting. He adopts a relatively warm and monochromatic palette for this work and yet the subtle shading of each figure generates an impressive sense of depth. Mallorcan Fishermen ultimately explores the intimacy and comradery shared between these men, thereby signaling the artist’s interest in imbedding emotional complexity into his subjects.