• Impressionist and Modern Art auction at Christies

    Sale 2828

    Impressionist and Modern Art

    17 November 2009, Amsterdam

  • Lot 148

    Ossip Zadkine (1890-1967)

    Maternité: mother and child

    Price Realised  


    Ossip Zadkine (1890-1967)
    Maternité: mother and child
    signed (incised) 'Zadkine' (lower edge)
    gold and black painted elmwood
    81 cm. high
    Executed circa 1912-1914.

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    At the Salon des indépendants in 1914, Zadkine showed two wooden sculptures: Fille and the present lot (as: La Vierge). This sculpture is the first of many Maternités Zadkine will make and also the prototype for many of his nudes. The shape of the woodblock is respected to such a point that not only the limbs are fully attached to the body, but also the head is completely flat on the shoulder in order not to let any part protrude. The figure is sensually closed to itself. The face, the arms and the hands are excessively elongated. The shape, sinuous and caressing, is closer to the fluidity of Art Nouveau than to Cubist geometry. The child, placed in an interesting way, straight on the arm of the mother, is intimitely attached to her.
    (S. Lecombre, Ossip Zadkine. L'Oeuvre Sculpté, Paris 1994, p. 32.)
    Russian artist Ossip Zadkine has always been strongly connected to the Dutch art world. In 1912 the Onafhankelijken in Amsterdam organised and exhibition as a pendant to the Salon de Independants in Paris, also inviting a group of Russians living in Paris. Next to Archipenko, Kandinsky and Chagall, Zadkine was represented with three sculptures and two drawings.

    In a letter to the Dutch collector who purchased the present lot directly from the artist's studio in Paris, dated 6 July 1923, Zadkine writes that he is extremely happy that the collector has purchased his Maternité, which he considers to be one of his best sculptures and that he hopes it will be appreciated.

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    Bought directly from the artist by the parents of the present owner circa 1923 (sold for 1300 French Francs).

    Pre-Lot Text



    Montjoie! Paris, II/3, March 1914, p. 27.
    M. Raynal, 'Ossip Zadkine', in: Valori Plastici, Rome, 1921, cat. no. 31.
    Jianou, 'Zadkine l'artiste et le poète', in: Journal Artcurial, Paris, May 1979, cat.no. 28 (where dated 1913).
    S. Lecombre, Ossip Zadkine, L'Oeuvre Sculpté, Paris 1994, p. 74, cat.no. 39, ill..
    I. Brons and M. Vlag, Zadkine en zijn Nederlandse leerlingen, Zwolle 2004, cat.no. 79, p. 89, ill..


    Probably: Paris, Salon des Indépendents, 1914, cat.no 3496, as: la Vierge.
    Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum, De wandtapijten der Fransche kathedralen en paleizen en de tapijtweefkunst van heden, 9 November-29 December 1946 (the present lot was placed in the exhibition space with contemporary tapestry).
    Amsterdam, Stedelijk Museum, Zadkine, 1948, cat.no. 1, as: Mère et Enfant.
    Amsterdam, Stedelijk Museum, (on loan) until 1951.