• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 7702

    Impressionist/Modern, Day Sale

    5 February 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 394

    Henri Lebasque (1865-1937)

    Nu à la peau de léopard, Le Cannet

    Price Realised  

    Henri Lebasque (1865-1937)
    Nu à la peau de léopard, Le Cannet
    signed 'lebasque' (lower right)
    oil on canvas
    38¼ x 63 in. (97 x 162 cm.)
    Painted in 1926


    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    Contact the department

    This painting is sold with a photo-certificate from Madame Christine Lenoir.

    In the mid-1920s, Lebasque moved from his home in Paris to Le Cannet, a town north of Cannes on the French Riviera. During these years, Lebasque continued painting landscapes and domestic scenes, but increasingly focused on the depiction of female nudes in rich and sumptuous environments. Influenced by his friend and neighbour Henri Matisse, with whom Lebasque had founded the Salon d'Automne in Paris in 1903, he developed a penchant for the depiction of lavish patterning in interior spaces.

    Suffused with suggestions of warm, natural light, Lebasque's languorous Nu à la peau de léopard recalls Matisse's depiction of voluptuous odalisques in exotic settings throughout the 1920s. The texture of the leopard rug and the upholstery on which the figure rests is suggested through the artist's use of airy brushwork. The tinges of green at the extreme edges of the woman's figure hint at the wild use of colour favoured by Matisse and his fellow fauve painters; however, in palette the present work is perhaps more closely related to the work of Camille Pissarro, with whom Lebasque had also studied in Paris.

    Lisa A. Banner has written that Lebasque's 1920s nudes were 'the culmination of [his] intimist manner of painting - the celebration of the female form as fertile, warm, and inspiring...Matisse's nudes of the same period, painted in his neighbouring villa on the Riviera, share his rich decorative sense, but approach the nude in a more intellectual style, as opposed to Lebasque's sensuous style. Lebasque painted his young models in poses of penetrating intimacy and subtle clarity' (in Lebasque, exh. cat., Montgomery Gallery, San Francisco, 1986, pp. 70 & 72).

    Special Notice

    VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 15% on the buyer's premium


    Provenance

    Henri Duhem, Paris, by 1928.
    Anonymous sale, Sotheby's, London, 5 April 1978, lot 25.
    Anonymous sale, Sotheby's, London, 28 June 1989, lot 140.
    Anonymous sale, Christie's, New York, 7 November 2007, lot 367 ($505,000).


    Literature

    P. Vitry, Henri Lebasque, Paris, 1928, p. 181 (illustrated).