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    Sale 7600

    Impressionist and Modern Art Day Sale

    25 June 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 445

    Jules Schmalzigaug (Belgian, 1882-1917)

    Het dynamische van de dans

    Price Realised  


    Jules Schmalzigaug (Belgian, 1882-1917)
    Het dynamische van de dans
    signed and dated 'Schmalzigaug 1913' (lower right)
    oil on canvas
    39 3/8 x 51 in. (100 x 129.6 cm.)
    Painted in 1913

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    Jules Schmalzigaug has emerged as a unique figure among early 20th Century avant-garde Belgian artists in his adoption of the ideals of Italian Futurism. His early death has resulted in a rich but comparatively small body of work. His visit to the 1912 Futurist exhibition at Galerie Bernheim-Jeune in Paris was a seminal moment in his aesthetic development. He then travelled to Venice where he worked for a period in 1912 and again in 1913. His paintings testify to the strong influence of Severini's interpretation of Divisionism and the expressive abstractions of Boccioni's Stati d'animo. In his own work, he uses light to generate form and colour simultaneously in his attempt to capture movement in two dimensions. The subject of the dancer was one favoured by the Futurists as it combined dynamic movement, the beauty of the human figure and an exhilarating form of popular culture all in one. The treatment of this theme in Het dynamische van de dans from 1913 is an explosion of brushstrokes, heavy with colour and light, generating and dividing geometrical, intertwined volumes. A completely abstract 'dance of light' is rendered through a composition of bright prisms, in continuous movement and quick metamorphosis.

    Dutch artist Willem Paerels (1878-1962) was among the first to recognize Schmalzigaug's talent, as he lauded his innovations in L'Art Libre in 1919, two years after his untimely death, 'un nom encore ignoré dans l'histoire de la peinture; celui d'un artiste, d'un veritable artiste, trop tôt disparu, mort en pleine production à trente ans; celui d'un chercheur indefatigable et d'un novateur. Schmalzigaug est un des rares artistes qui ouvrent une fenêtre nouvelle sur l'infini des possibilités; un de ceux qui nous font une fois de plus et mieux comprendre que les formules en peintures sont absurdes'.

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    R. & J. van de Velde, Antwerp.
    Anonymous sale, Christie's, London, 27 June 1989, lot 408.
    Private collection, Japan.
    Anonymous sale, Christie's, Amsterdam, 5 June 1996, lot 242.
    Acquired at the above sale by the present owner.

    Pre-Lot Text



    P. Mertens, Jules Schmalzigaug 1882-1917, Brussels, 1984, no. 49 (illustrated p. 86).


    Rome, Galleria Futurista [Giuseppe Sprovieri], Esposizione Libera Futurista Internazionale, April - May 1914, no. 2 (titled 'Sensazione dinamica di danza. Interno di bar notturno').
    Antwerp, Kunst van Heden, Retrospectieve J. Schmalzigaug, April - May 1923, no. 186.
    Brussels, Koninklijk Museum voor Moderne Kunst, Jules Schmalzigaug, 1985.
    Brussels, Gemeentekrediet, Muziek in de Kunst, 1985.
    Altenburg, Lindenau-Museum, Internationale Sprachen der Kunst: Gemälde, Zeichnungen und Skulpturen der Klassischen Moderne aus der Sammlung Hoh, August - October 1998, no. 76 (illustrated p. 203); this exhibition later travelled to Osnabrück, Kulturgeschichtliches Museum Felix-Nussbaum-Haus, Dortmund, Museum am Ostwall and Nuremberg, Germanisches Nationalmuseum.