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JEAN DUPAS (1882-1964)
JEAN DUPAS (1882-1964)

POMONE (MLLE MARGUERITE GRAIN), 1923

Details
JEAN DUPAS (1882-1964)
POMONE (Mlle Marguerite Grain), 1923
oil on board, with silvered wood frame
15½ x 15½ in. (40 x 40 cm.) sight size
signed Jean Dupas 1923 and plaque inscribed Pomone 1923, with an original paper label on the back labeled Pomone 1923
Provenance
Barry Friedman, New York.

Condition report

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Lot Essay

The title Pomone ascribed to this picture on the frame label establishes the subject as the classical deity of fruit and flowers. The beautiful, blonde-haired young woman is indeed proffering a flower, and behind her we see the apples and grapes that symbolize the fruit of the land. Neither her features, however, nor her simple hairstyle correspond to the generic mythological figures associated with Dupas. In place of the attenuated oval faces with long, pointed noses and elaborate coiffures of his idealized subjects, we see here a rounded face with high cheeks, a short nose and a sophisticated but life-like hairstyle - blonde locks restrained by a simple blue band. The direct gaze further stresses the subject's individuality. The allegorical references to the nymph Pomone are not sufficient to disguise the true subject. The resemblance to Marguerite Grain (1899-1986), pupil and friend of the artist is striking; she was 24 in 1923, a likely dating of Pomone'. Immersed in history and classical iconography, Dupas has adopted the traditions of French 18th century court artists, notably Nattier, who depicted their subjects as Olympian gods or goddesses, or shepherds and shepherdesses. We are surely justified in interpreting the present picture as a veiled portrait of his seductive lady friend.
This work will be included in the Jean Dupas catalogue raisonnée
currently being prepared by Romain Lefebvre.

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