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

Falaise et bateau échoué

GEORGES BRAQUE (1882-1963)
Falaise et bateau échoué
signed and dated 'G Braque 28' (lower left)
oil on canvas
13 1⁄8 x 16 1⁄8 in. (33.3 x 41.2 cm.)
Painted in 1928
Paul Rosenberg, Paris, by early 1929.
Anonymous sale, Hermann Ball & Paul Graupe, Berlin, 24 April 1931, lot 78.
Galerie Alfred Flechtheim, Berlin, by whom acquired at the above sale.
Galerie Paul Rosenberg & Co., New York, by September 1948.
Richard H. Zinser, Forest Hills, New York, by whom acquired from the above in February 1957.
Private collection, London; sale, Christie's, New York, 20 November 1986, lot 389.
Private collection, Japan; sale, Christie's, New York, 9 November 2000, lot 180.
Private collection, United States, by whom acquired at the above sale; sale, Christie's, New York, 16 May 2018, lot 322 (sold pursuant to a restitution settlement agreement with the heirs of Alfred Flechtheim).
Acquired at the above sale by the present owner.
E. Bove, 'Georges Braque' in Formes, no. 3, March 1930, p. 8 (illustrated; titled 'Marine').
G. Isarlov, Catalogue des œuvres de Georges Braque, Paris, 1932, no. 475, p. 27.
R. Huyghe, Dialogue avec le visible, Paris, 1955, p. 51 (illustrated pl. 45).
Galerie Maeght, ed., Catalogue de l'œuvre de Georges Braque, Peintures, 1928-1935, Paris, 1962, p. 18 (illustrated).
P. Descargues & M. Carrà, Tout l'œuvre peint de Braque, 1908-1929, Paris, 1973, no. 389, p. 103 (illustrated).
Berlin, Galerie Alfred Flechtheim, Sommer 1929, 1929, p. 10 (illustrated; titled 'Dieppe').
New York, Paul Rosenberg & Co., Inc., Paintings by Braque from 1924 to 1952, October 1952, no. 3.
New York, Paul Rosenberg & Co., Inc., Paintings by Braque, October 1955, no. 4.

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Annie Wallington
Annie Wallington Senior Specialist, Head of Core Sales

Lot Essay

Braque was drawn towards the dramatic, chalky cliffs of the region's coastline that he had first encountered as a boy. From the late 1920s onwards he spent a part of every year at a house he had built for himself on the coast at Varengeville, and it became his valued retreat away from the pressures of life in Paris. It was while staying here that he began his series of small-scale beach landscapes, of which the present lot is a prime example. Falaise et bateau échoué is a work which brilliantly combines Braque’s incomparable feeling for modernist composition with the French landscape painting tradition. Camille Corot, Eugène Boudin and Claude Monet had found inspiration in the quiet harbors and on the luminous beaches of the north-west coast of France, and now “the moist silvery light of the Normandy coasts, its cliffs, broad beaches and clear horizons…began to exert their appeal on Braque” (E. Mullins, Braque, 1968, p. 121). In the present work, Braque arranges the elements of a seaside landscape with characteristic deftness, displaying his remarkable sense of how plane, form and color interact.

Landscape had been crucial in Braque's formulation of cubism in the years preceding 1910. However it was to disappear from his repertoire until these beach pictures of almost twenty years later. The quietly lyrical pattern and simple, planar construction of Falaise et bateau échoué, whilst indebted to the rigours of Braque's cubist still-lifes, also recall his work as a ballet designer for Sergei Diaghilev.

Alfred Flechtheim (1878–1937) was a key figure in the promotion of modern art in Germany. He was both an art dealer and collector, with two galleries in Düsseldorf and Berlin, with additional branches in Vienna, Frankfurt-am-Main and Cologne at various times. After the rise to power of the Nazis in 1933, Alfred Flechtheim was persecuted because of his Jewish descent, leading to the closure of his business in Germany forced emigration to London, where he endeavored to continue as an art dealer in exile. Flechtheim died there in 1937.

Alfred Flechtheim recognized Georges Braque's talent early and became a supporter of the painter, representing the artist in Germany and organizing exhibitions of his work. They remained in contact after Flechtheim’s flight from Germany and had Braque supported his unsuccessful application for French citizenship.

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