Georges Braque (1882-1963)
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE EUROPEAN COLLECTION
Georges Braque (1882-1963)

Les soleils

Georges Braque (1882-1963)
Les soleils
signed 'G Braque' (lower left); titled 'LES SOLEILS' (on the stretcher)
oil on canvas
45 5/8 x 28 3/4 in. (116 x 73 cm.)
Painted in 1952
Galerie Maeght, Paris.
Acquired by the family of the present owners in July 1954.
Frankfurter Illustrierte, 11 May 1952 (earlier state illustrated in the artist's atelier).
Verve: revue artistique et littéraire, vol. VII, nos. 27-28, Paris, 1952 (illustrated).
Maeght, ed., Catalogue de l’oeuvre de Georges Braque: Peintures 1948-1957, Paris, 1959, pl. 51 (illustrated).
Paris, Galerie Maeght, Braque, June - July 1952, no. 4.
Bern, Kunsthalle, Georges Braque, April - May 1953, no. 110.
Antwerp, Musée Royal des Beaux-Arts, L'Art Contemporain, May - June 1955, no. 129.
Venice, La Biennale di Venezia, XXIX. Esposizione Internazionale d'Arte, June - October 1958, no. 22.
Rome, Palazzo Barberini, Mostra antalogica di Georges Braque, December 1958 - January 1959, no. 26, p. 38 (illustrated pl. 17).
Munich, Haus der Kunst, Georges Braque, October - December 1963, no. 125, p. 54 (illustrated pl. 116).
Oslo, Kunstnernes hus, Georges Braque, 1882-1963: malerier, grafikk, skulptur, November 1964 - January 1965; this exhibition later travelled to Bergen, Kunstforening, January - February 1965.
Paris, Musée de l'Orangerie, Georges Braque, October 1973 - January 1974, no. 121.
Marcq-en-Baroeul, Fondation Anne et Albert Prouvost, October 1978.
Special notice
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.
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Please note that is this lot should be marked with a LAMBDA symbol in the printed catalogue indicating that this lot is subject to Artist’s Resale Rights (‘Droit de Suite’). Please refer to the back of the catalogue for further information.

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Anna Povejsilova
Anna Povejsilova

Lot Essay

‘Why oh why do we find these flowers so marvellous?’, the sculptor Alberto Giacometti asked when writing the introductory essay of Braque’s 1952 exhibition at the Galerie Maeght in Paris (A. Giacometti, ‘Gris, brun, noir…’, in Giacometti, Écrits, Articles, notes et entretiens, Paris, 2007, p. 112). Painted in 1952, Braque’s Les soleils was one of the floral still-lifes included in this exhibition, and is one of a number of richly coloured, resplendent still-life paintings that the artist painted in the latter phase of his career. This was a period of renewed creativity for Braque, that witnessed an outpouring of works that resonate with a bold simplicity of design and a visually rich paint surface.

Braque had depicted sunflowers on a number of occasions prior to 1952, though none with such emphatic simplicity as Les soleils. Visitors to Braque’s home and studio at Varengeville in Normandy described it as being filled with cut flowers, particularly sunflowers. His Paris studio was also adorned with images of flowers, including a poster of one of Van Gogh’s Sunflowers (1888). As with many of the great French masters before him, such as Chardin, Manet or Cézanne, Braque used the floral still-life to meditate on the very nature of painting itself. One of Braque’s most treasured possessions was Cézanne’s unfinished Bouquet de pivoines dans un pot vert (circa 1898); Braque deeply admired Cézanne and his explorations into the problem of the visual representation of space; the depiction of three-dimensional objects onto a flat two-dimensional surface. Les soleils demonstrates Braque’s fascination with form and colour; the interaction of the potent yellow flowers and green leaves against the brown background show the artist’s desire to convey, in pictorial means, the physical perception of an object on a canvas. One of the greatest still-life painters of the twentieth century, Braque here demonstrates his ceaseless exploration and experimentation with the genre, displaying a unique ability to transform the everyday ephemera of life into paintings that are at once monumental and intimate, majestic and subtle.

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