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    Sale 1901

    Impressionist And Modern Art Day Sale

    7 November 2007, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 478

    Georges Braque (1882-1963)

    La toilette dans la cuisine

    Price Realised  


    Georges Braque (1882-1963)
    La toilette dans la cuisine
    signed 'G Braque' (lower right)
    oil on canvas
    19¾ x 25¼ in. (50.2 x 64.1 cm.)
    Painted in 1942

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    Braque returned to Paris in 1940 and remained there throughout the war. Finding it difficult to work during the Occupation, he painted relatively few pictures at that time. For the most part, he painted still-lifes and his subject matter was related almost exclusively to food and common household objects. "There is no symbolism in this, it merely expresses the artist's view on the preoccupations of a city in war-time and his preference for a somber palette in these works reflected the austere life of the time" (D. Cooper, Braque, the Great Years, Chicago, 1972, p. 82).

    Braque's still-lifes of this period are full of strong contrasts, rich in texture and have a complexity of composition developed from his experiments with Cubism. In the present work the shapes of the objects are simplified and, although distinct, appear quite flattened. The dark background, colored in differing shades of ochre and brown, lends the painting considerable depth while the grayish-white highlights, particularly on the vertical plane, balance the composition. Though the burnished brass faucet first captures our attention, the elliptical sink in fact anchors the picture and serves to draw our eye around the canvas. Thus, as is characteristic of Braque, sharp angles and straight lines are combined with curving forms in a harmonious and subtly rhythmic composition La toilette dans la cuisine is a powerful evocation of the artist's lifestyle during the Occupation and represents a mature stage in his quest to reproduce and recreate concepts of space and form.

    Special Notice

    No sales tax is due on the purchase price of this lot if it is picked up or delivered in the State of New York.


    Alfred Poyet, Paris (acquired from the artist).
    Marlborough Fine Art, Ltd., London.
    Wilbur D. May, Reno, Nevada.
    Gift from the above to the present owner, 1956.

    Pre-Lot Text

    Sold to benefit the acquisition fund of the Saint Louis Art Museum*


    Galerie Maeght, ed., Catalogue de l'oeuvre de Georges Braque, Peintures 1942-1947, Paris, 1960, p. 15 (illustrated).

    Post Lot Text

    *This lot may be tax exempt from the sale tax as set forth in the Sales Tax Notice at the back of the catalogue.