Camille Bombois (1883-1970)
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Camille Bombois (1883-1970)

Avant de paraître

Camille Bombois (1883-1970)
Avant de paraître
signed 'Bombois C.lle' (lower left)
oil on canvas
36 1/4 x 23 3/4 in. (92.2 x 60.5 cm.)
Painted circa 1927
Perls Galleries, New York (no. 7363).
Acquired from the above by the present owner in the 1970s.
Special notice
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent. These lots have been imported from outside the EU for sale using a Temporary Import regime. Import VAT is payable (at 5%) on the Hammer price. VAT is also payable (at 20%) on the buyer’s Premium on a VAT inclusive basis. When a buyer of such a lot has registered an EU address but wishes to export the lot or complete the import into another EU country, he must advise Christie's immediately after the auction.

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Lot Essay

Olivier Lorquin and Didier Jumaux have confirmed the authenticity of this work.

Camille Bombois worked from a young age in a variety of jobs, as a sailor and a wrestler on fairgrounds near Paris, painting in his spare time. The circus would later serve as the inspiration for many of his most important works. Meeting German critic Wilhelm Uhde, a champion of Naïve Art, in 1922 sparked fruitful support for Bombois that would see his representation in Paris exhibitions. The following four lots are from this time in the 1920s, when he was becoming known within Parisian avant-garde circles.

Bombois painted with careful sensitivity, attention and respect for each subject. They rosey-cheeked buxom females in Avant de paraître and Les belles contes bleux display strength, curvaceousness and seriousness far away from the elegance and chic of the Parisian upper class. The vividness of colour in their clothing, flesh and surroundings, and simplicity of form makes a direct and bold statement.

The artist’s particular attention to detail holds an intimate quality, a personal specificity that alternates between the intriguing, the humorous and the precious. Tiny caricatures can often be found in the peripheral minutiae of each composition; the tiny clothes on the washing line in Promenade en banlieue, the tiny potplant sitting on the doorstep in Les nouvelles du village, the paintings within a painting of Avant de paraître. These are quiet murmurs of the general milieu of each situation and narrative which brings a feeling of commentary, an added entertainment and characterful humour to each work.

“He paints true to life, what he sees, what he loves spontaneously in daily life” - Wilhelm Uhde

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