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Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944)
Coups divers
signed with the monogram and dated 'K 38' (lower left)
gouache on black paper
19 x 12.5/8in. (49.7 x 32.2cm.)
Executed in 1938
Jeanne Bucher, Paris
A. Java, Paris
Paul Citron, Amsterdam
Pierre Alexandre Regnault, Laren
Anon. Sale, Brandt, Amsterdam, 18-20 October 1958, Lot 52
Galerie Wilhelm Grosshennig, Dsseldorf
Acquired from the above by the late owner in 1978.
The Artist's Handlist, viii 1938, 602 Coup divers (gouache) V. Endicott Barnett, Kandinsky Watercolours, Catalogue Raisonn, Volume Two, 1922-1944, London, 1994, no.1236, p.448 (illustrated p.434 and 448)
Dusseldorf, Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen and Stuttgart, Staatsgalerie, Kandinsky, Kleine Freuden, Aquarelle und Zeichnungen, March-August 1992, no. 165 (illustrated).

Lot Essay

By 1938 Kandinsky had been living in the Paris suburb of Neuilly-sur-Seine with his wife Nina for five years. In the beginning it was difficult for Kandinsky to sell any works in France and only the late 1930s brought a few signs of belated recognition in Paris."In 1937 Kandinsky participated in a large exhibition at the Jeu de Paume, that traced the development of modern art from Impressionism to abstraction. Two years later, after tough negotiations about the price, he was able to sell a major work, Composition IX, to the Jeu de Paume. It was the first large abstract painting of any kind to enter a French museum. By then Kandinsky had applied for French citizenship, which was granted in 1939 after a lengthy process and the intervention of several influential aquaintances. The artist's new passport was accompanied by a changed attitude to the country that had given him refuge. His letters reveal an optimism about his prospects and a delight in his surroundings, especially the light, colours and relaxed atmosphere of Paris. It was as though Kandinsky had finally decided to make the best of things." (Exh.cat. London, Royal Academy of Arts, Kandinsky watercolours and other works on paper, pp. 84-85).

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