Femme nue, effet rose
signed, inscribed and dated 'LLévy Dhurmer/Paris 1917' (lower left)
pastel on paper
36 x 26 in. (91.4 x 66 cm.)
Anonymous sale; Christie's, New York, 10 December 1998, lot 126, as A Large Pastel on Paper.
Acquired by Ann and Gordon Getty from the above.

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Lot Essay

Although not a member of any one artistic movement, Lévy-Dhurmer found commonality with the artists, writers, and musicians of the Symbolist movement, which formed to provide an intellectual alternative to the purely visual painting of the Impressionists. The Symbolists chose subject matter which would suggest complex emotional and spiritual ideas rather than compositions that could be immediately understood. After about 1900, Lévy-Dhurmer’s art begins to blur the lines between painting, music and poetry, and seeks to find ways to express the complex emotional and lyrical essence of these arts in his paintings. The result was a group of paintings and pastels in which the artist layered nuances of color and texture create a hazy, melodic atmosphere rather than concrete form or composition. The present work is part of a series of works in oil and pastel that the artist undertook around this time in which he sought to embody the auditory impressions created by the music of Beethoven, Fauré and Debussy through the female anatomy. Works such as La Marche Funèbre, at the Musée des Beaux-Arts, Brest and The Appassionata, at the Petit-Palais, Paris, are some of the best known of the other works in this series.

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