2 More
5 More

Sans titre (Femme nue assise)

Sans titre (Femme nue assise)
signed 'C. Brancusi' (lower left)
tempera and gouache on board
25 5/8 x 19 5/8 in. (65 x 49.7 cm.)
Painted circa 1928
Goennenwein collection, Paris (gift from the artist, 1941).
F. Goennenwein and V. Kennel, Germany (by descent from the above).
Galerie Arnoldi-Livie, Munich.
Acquired from the above by the present owner, 2013.
Brussels, Center for Fine Arts, Brancusi: Sublimation of Form, October 2019-Jaunuary 2020, p. 220, no. 155 (illustrated in color, p. 148, fig. 5; titled Nude).
Further Details
Margit Rowell has confirmed the authenticity of this work.

Brought to you by

Margaux Morel
Margaux Morel Associate Vice President, Specialist and Head of the Day and Works on Paper sales

Lot Essay

Brancusi, the pioneering modern sculptor, worked in a wide range of three-dimensional media, including stone, wood and bronze; yet he produced relatively few drawings and paintings. The rare two-dimensional works within his oeuvre are portraits of friends, views of his studio, or studies of the female body. The present painting, for example, depicts a pale nude seated on a tiled ledge, surrounded by the blue water of a bath or a pool. The mysterious bather leans forward, turning away from the viewer and allowing her wavy auburn hair to conceal her face entirely.
The female bather appears in French art throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and suggest Brancusi's close engagement with—and radical reinterpretation of—this tradition. The present work recalls the pastel works of the Impressionist artist Edgar Degas in particular, who imagined bathers crunched and twisted into unexpected positions, fully absorbed in the act of scrubbing their own limbs. Brancusi's radically flattened and simplified bather, however, has more in common with the early twentieth century paintings of nudes by his friends, Amedeo Modigliani and Pablo Picasso. Brancusi similarly sought to reduce the bather to her most basic shape, in order to arrive at the fundamental 'truth' of her form—the same experiments he conducted with his sculptures.
The provenance of this painting may be traced directly to the artist; he gifted the work to the Goennenwein family in Paris in 1941, in the midst of the German occupation of France. Brancusi, born in Romania, had first arrived in Paris to study at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in 1905. He thereafter made the city his home, befriending other avant-garde artists and slowly building a reputation as one of the most important sculptors of his generation. Sans titre (Femme nue assise) was recently featured in the recent monographic exhibition at the Centre for Fine Arts in Brussels, Brancusi: Sublimation of Form.

More from Impressionist and Modern Works on Paper Sale

View All
View All