Georges Braque (1892-1963)

La toilette bleue

Georges Braque (1892-1963)
Braque, G.
La toilette bleue
signed and dated 'G Braque 42' (lower right)
oil on canvas
57 x 37 in. (146.6 x 95.2 cm.)
Painted in 1942
Aim Maeght, Paris.
Marlborough Fine Art, Ltd., London.
A.A. Juviler, New York.
Galerie des Arts Ancienes et Modernes, Liechtenstein.
Sam Spiegel, Hollywood; sale, Sotheby's, New York, 11 May 1987, lot 8.
Cahiers d'Art, 1940-1944, p. 105.
J. Paulhan, Braque le patron, Paris, 1946, p. 143 (illustrated in color).
S. Fumet, Braque, Paris, 1945, pl. 14 (illustrated in color).
S. Fumet, Braque, Paris, 1948, no. 48 (illustrated).
M. Jardot and K. Martin, Les matres de la peinture franaise contemporaine, Baden-Baden, 1949, pl. 4 (illustrated).
A. Lejard, Braque, Paris, 1949, pl. 18 (illustrated in color).
F. Laufer, Braque, Bern, 1954, pl. 34 (illustrated).
N.S. Mangin, Catalogue de l'oeuvre de Georges Braque, Peintures 1942-1947, Montrouge, 1960, p. 11 (illustrated).
Paris, Palais des Beaux-Arts de la Ville de Paris, Salon d'Automne, September-October 1943, no. 1782.
Amsterdam, Stedelijk Museum, and Brussels, Palais des Beaux-Arts, Georges Braque, October-December 1945, no. 12.
Avignon, Palais des Papes, Exposition de peinture et sculpture contemporaine, June-August 1947.
Venice, Biennale, XXIV Esposizione Internazionale de Arte, May-September 1948, no. 475.
Tokyo, Le Journal Yomiuri, Georges Braque, August 1952, no. 10.
Bern, Kunsthalle and Zurich, Kunsthaus, Georges Braque, April-July 1953, no. 89.
New York, The Museum of Modern Art, Three Painters as Print-Makers: Braque, Mir, Morandi, January-March 1958.
New York, M. Knoedler & Co., Inc., Georges Braque 1882-1963: An American Tribute, April-May 1964, no. 10 (illustrated).
Chicago, The Art Institute, Braque: The Great Years, October-December 1972, p. 22, no. 26 (illustrated in color, pl. 12; illustrated, p. 80, fig. 62).
Washington, D.C., The Phillips Collection; San Francisco, The California Palace of the Legion of Honor; Minneapolis, Walker Art Center, and Houston, The Museum of Fine Arts, Georges Braque: The Late Paintings 1940-1963, October 1982-September 1983, p. 37, no. 7 (illustrated in color, p. 47).
Marugame, Genichiro Inokuma Museum of Contemporary Art; Kagoshima, City Museum of Art; Tokyo, The Bunkamura Museum of Art, and Mie, Prefectural Art Museum, Rtrospective Georges Braque, June-December 1998, p. 124, no. 57 (illustrated in color, p. 125).

Lot Essay

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 sombre palette in these works reflected the austere life of the time" (D. Cooper, exh. cat., op. cit., Chicago, 1972, p. 82).

Braque's still-lifes of this period are full of strong color contrasts, are rich in texture and have a complexity of composition developed from his experiments with Cubism. La toilette bleue is a powerful evocation of the artist's lifestyle during the Occupation and represents a mature stage in his quest to reproduce and recreate effects of space and form.

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