GEORGES BRAQUE (1882-1963)
GEORGES BRAQUE (1882-1963)
GEORGES BRAQUE (1882-1963)
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GEORGES BRAQUE (1882-1963)


GEORGES BRAQUE (1882-1963)
signed 'G. Braque' (lower left) and titled in Ancient Greek 'Odysseus' (lower right)
pastel on paper laid down on canvas
71 ¼ x 29 1/8 in. (181 x 74 cm.)
Executed circa 1931-1932
Jacques Seligmann & Co., New York (acquired from the artist).
Mr. and Mrs. M.F. Feheley, Toronto (acquired from the above, 1958); sale, Sotheby & Co., London, 28 June 1972, lot 12.
G.K. Leech (acquired at the above sale).
Anon. sale, Christie's, New York, 13 May 1980, lot 66.
Argyro Enterprises, Ltd., Toronto.
Acquired by the late owner, March 1989.
C. Einstein, Georges Braque, London, 1934 (illustrated on the frontispiece; titled Ulysse).
Kunsthalle Basel, Georges Braque, April-May 1933, p. 23, no. 177 (illustrated; with incorrect medium).
Brussels, Palais des Beaux-Arts, Georges Braque, November-December 1936, no. 69 (titled Ulysse).
The Arts Club of Chicago; Washington, D.C., The Phillips Memorial Gallery and San Francisco Museum of Art, Georges Braque: Retrospective Exhibition, November 1939-March 1940, no. 7 (titled Ulysse).
San Francisco Museum of Art, Golden Gate International Exposition, 1940, no. 614.
The Art Gallery of Toronto, Loans from Private Toronto Collections, October 1959.
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Canada Collects: European Painting, 1860-1960, January-February 1960, p. 68, no. 199 (with incorrect medium).
The Art Gallery of Toronto, The Canadian Cancer Society Exhibition, 1961.
Toronto, Art Gallery of Ontario, February 1988-January 1989 (on extended loan).
Further details
Quentin Laurens, the holder of the Droit Moral, has kindly confirmed that this work is registered in the Laurens atelier archives.

Lot Essay

Alex Danchev has written, “From his desk or his bed—he was a night reader—Braque fed the inner man. This one was the gourmet. The past is a hypothesis, he said, but it was the ancient world, more hypothetical than most, that held his attention” (Georges Braque: A Life, New York, 2005, p. 194). Braque, the avid bibliophile, was well-read in Ancient Greek literature. In 1931, Ambroise Vollard came to Braque to commission a series of etchings for a special edition artist’s book to accompany a well-known text of antiquity. Braque immediately chose Hesiod’s Theogony, an epic poem from 730-700 BC detailing the origins and genealogies of the Greek gods. It was through this project that Braque indubitably put pastel to paper to create two large scale panels: Circe and Odysseus. During this period, an interviewer described Braque as “seduced by the names, tracing the ancient letters like a magic spell” (ibid., p. 196). The Greek text provided ample inspiration, leading Braque to create several different explorations through oil, pastel and even plaster.

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