Pierre Célice from the Association des Amis de Henri Hayden has confirmed the authenticity of this work.
Painted in May 1919, Henri Hayden’s Fille assise au bouquet de fleurs is a large, exuberant and highly detailed work that shows the artist at the height of his powers. Arriving in Paris from Poland in 1907, it was during the First World War, while living in Montparnasse, that Hayden first became interested in the artistic possibilities of Cubism. Inspired by Cézanne, as well as by his contemporaries including Metzinger, Severini and Picasso, Hayden painted his first truly cubist works in 1917. A composition constructed of intersecting planes of flattened colour and vibrant, finely rendered trompe l’oeil patterning, Fille assise au bouquet de fleurs is one of the finest examples of the artist’s form of Synthetic Cubism. With planes of pink, sky blue, bright yellow and green, Hayden has clearly revelled in texture, pattern and colour, using stippled ‘confetti’-like flecks and faux chequered paper to evoke the elaborate design of the woman’s outfit, as well as the elegant parquet floor of the interior. Like his contemporaries Braque and Picasso, in this painting, Hayden has mixed sand into his oil paint, lending certain facets a roughly textured appearance. Infused with a sense of joyous exuberance and a light-hearted playfulness, Fille assise au bouquet de fleurs demonstrates Hayden’s skill as a colourist as well as his mastery of a cubist idiom.
Fille assise au bouquet de fleurs was originally owned by Hayden’s dealer, Léonce Rosenberg. A fervent devotee of Cubism, Rosenberg was one of the leading protagonists of the wartime Parisian art world, instigating a number of strategies in order to defend, propound and market this movement to an international audience. Throughout the war, he signed contracts with a host of cubist artists including Braque, Léger and Gris, as well as Metzinger, Severini and Herbin, among others, and in 1918 opened his gallery, the Galerie L’Effort Moderne, which was dedicated to the exhibition and propagation of his collective cubist ‘school’ of artists. Introduced to Rosenberg by Gris and Metzinger, Hayden had signed a contract with Rosenberg in 1916, and was given a one-man show at the Galerie L’Effort Moderne in December 1919, just a few months after he had painted Fille assise au bouquet de fleurs. Dating from this period of increasing artistic renown, this impressive painting encapsulates Hayden’s distinct form of post-war Synthetic Cubism.