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Théo van Rysselberghe (1862-1926)
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE BELGIAN COLLECTION
Théo van Rysselberghe (1862-1926)

Portrait de fillette

Théo van Rysselberghe (1862-1926)
Portrait de fillette
signed with the initials 'TVR' (upper left)
pastel on paper
23 5/8 x 15 3/4 in. (60 x 40 cm.)
Private collection, Antwerp, by whom probably acquired directly from the artist, and thence by descent to the present owner.
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.
Sale Room Notice
Please note that Artist's Resale Right does not apply for this lot.

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Ottavia Marchitelli, Specialist Head of Works on Paper Sale
Ottavia Marchitelli, Specialist Head of Works on Paper Sale

Lot Essay

This work will be included in the forthcoming catalogue raisonné supplement being published by Ronald Feltkamp.

This work will be included in the forthcoming Van Rysselberghe catalogue raisonné currently being prepared by Olivier Bertrand.

'What happens behind a face preoccupied him more than he dared to say: he spoke of volumes, of colour, of composition, as if to mask the anxiety of his personality and his mind. For Théo did not paint so many portraits because he was attracted by a curiosity of another kind, but by the search of the human being.'
R. Feltkamp, Theo Van Rysselberghe, Brussels, 2003, p. 11.

Van Rysselberghe is heralded as one of the leading figures in Belgian Neo-Impressionism, and was a founding member of the avant-garde group Les XX. Throughout his career he maintained a rigorous dedication to the genre of portraiture, producing 'the greatest quantity of Neo-Impressionist portraits among his French and Belgian colleagues' (J. Block & E. Wardwell Lee, The Neo-Impressionist Portrait 1886-1904, Indianapolis, p. 218). Van Rysselberghe was highly sought after for commissions, as well as returning again and again to create thoughtful depictions of the people around him.

The present work demonstrates the clear psychological dimension to his portraiture; Van Rysselberghe did not simply want to capture a likeness, but something of the sitter’s inner world. Portrait de fillette depicts a young girl with all the markings of a well brought-up child, masterfully rendered in soft pastel. Wise beyond her years, she appears deep in thought as she gazes at – or past – the viewer. Although the identity of the girl remains unconfirmed, she has long been thought to be the grandmother of the present owner.

Van Rysselberghe’s portraits are part of significant public and private collections worldwide, including the Musée d'Orsay, Paris, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and the National Portrait Gallery, London.

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