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Georges Rouault (1871-1958)
PROPERTY OF AN IMPORTANT MIDWESTERN COLLECTION
Georges Rouault (1871-1958)

Fleurs décoratives

Details
Georges Rouault (1871-1958)
Fleurs décoratives
signed 'G. Rouault' (lower right)
oil on paper laid down on canvas
44 5/8 x 30 ¾ in. (113.5 x 78 cm.)
Painted in 1937
Provenance
The Lefevre Gallery (Alex. Reid & Lefevre, Ltd.), London and Bignou Gallery, New York.
Mr. and Mrs. Edward G. Robinson, Beverly Hills (acquired from the above, 1938).
M. Knoedler & Co., Inc., New York.
Stavros Niarchos, Athens (acquired from the above, February 1957).
Private collection, Europe (by descent from the above); sale, Christie's, New York, 10 May 2001, lot 379.
Acquired at the above sale by the present owners.
Literature
M. Seton, "Edward G. Robinson's Collection," The Studio, December 1939, p. 240.
L. Venturi, Georges Rouault, New York, 1940, p. 76 (illustrated, pl. 146, fig. 176; titled Le vase de fleurs).
A. Millier, "Edward G. Robinson's CollectionAn Interview," Art in America, vol. 32, no. 4, October 1944, p. 228.
Exhibited
Berlin, Preussischen Akademie der Künste, Ausstellung französischer Kunst der Gegenwart, June-July 1937, p. 40, no. 255.
New York, Bignou Gallery, The Tragic Painters, February-March 1938, no. 7 (illustrated; titled Le vase de fleurs).
London, The Lefevre Gallery (Alex Reid & Lefevre, Ltd.), The Tragic Painters, June 1938, no. 15 (illustrated; dated 1926 and titled Le vase de fleurs).
(possibly) Los Angeles County Museum, Mr. and Mrs. Edward G. Robinson Collection, June-July 1941 (titled Large Still Life).
(possibly) Los Angeles County Museum, Thirty Masterpieces of Modern French Art from the Edward G. Robinson Collection, July-September 1949, no. 24.
New York, The Museum of Modern Art and Washington, D.C., National Gallery of Art, Forty Paintings from the Edward G. Robinson Collection, March-June 1953, p. 5, no. 27 (illustrated, p. 11; dated 1926 and titled The Vase of Flowers).
New York, Wildenstein & Co. Inc., Magic of Flowers in Painting, April-May 1954, no. 68 (dated 1926 and titled Vase of Flowers).
Los Angeles County Museum and San Francisco, California Palace of the Legion of Honor, The Gladys Lloyd Robinson and Edward G. Robinson Collection, September 1956-January 1957, no. 55 (illustrated; dated 1926 and titled The Vase of Flowers).
New York, M. Knoedler & Co., Inc.; Ottawa, The National Gallery of Canada and Boston, The Museum of Fine Arts, A Loan Exhibition of Paintings and Sculpture from the Niarchos Collection, December 1957-April 1958, pp. 110-112, no. 55 (illustrated, p. 111; titled The Vase of Flowers).
London, Tate Gallery, The Niarchos Collection, May-June 1958, p. 12, no. 56 (illustrated, pl. 56; titled The Vase of Flowers.)
Athens, National Picture Gallery, The Niarchos Art Collection, August-September 1958, no. 47 (titled Vase with Flowers).
Kunsthaus Zürich, Sammlung S. Niarchos, January-March 1959, p. 33, no. 64 (illustrated, p. 41; titled Stilleben mit Blumenvase).

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Lot Essay

The Fondation Georges Rouault has confirmed the authenticity of this work.
In the early 1930s, Marie Cuttoli, collector and patron of modern French art, commissioned Rouault to paint his first group of floral still lifes. Cuttoli was an admirer of the art of tapestry weaving, and made it her mission to revive it in the modern era by commissioning works from artists to use as cartoons (full-scale preparatory drawings) for tapestries. Rouault painted approximately thirty canvases for this purpose, and about ten tapestries were woven by the Aubusson craftsmen between 1930 and 1937. Rouault executed this series of Fleurs décoratives using a bright palette, framing the composition with prominent borders while clearly paying homage to the traditional art of tapestry making.
Bernard Dorival attributes the prevalence of flowers in the artist's mature work to his spiritual evolution in the post-war years, and to his discovery of "the beauty of nature, and of a Nature in which a radiant sun appears almost constantly... [and of] the beauty of one of the most marvellous of nature's creations: the flower" (B. Dorival and I. Rouault, Rouault: L'oeuvre peint, Monte-Carlo, 1988, vol. II, p. 14).

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