Lot n° 44
8 000 - 12 000 EUR
Result with fees
10 400 EUR
ANDRÉ LHOTE (1885-1962)
Portrait de femme, 1924
Pastel on paper, signed upper left
65.5 x 50.5 cm - 26 x 19 5/8 in.
Nous remercions madame Dominique Bermann Martin d'avoir aimablement confirmé l'authenticité de cette oeuvre.
Galerie Martin Bres, Marseille
Collection privée, Marseille
The immense talent of the artist can be seen in this portrait first of all thanks to the technique adopted, which is that of pastel. The volatile matter makes its use difficult and the delicacy of the colours, lines and contrasts, which we find here, show the skill and ease of the painter. At first glance it is interesting to note that the models are rendered thanks to the opposition of a cold chromatic scale and a warm second one. However, on closer observation of the work, it appears that the hues considered warm are also cold, the dews used are not warm colours. The master succeeds in creating a contrast by warming up colds with even colder colours.
This is how the model appears and the young woman's body is revealed. The monumental and almost architectural stature of this woman is amplified by the fact that she occupies the entire frame and leaves no space for anything else. The white drapery she is dressed in refers of course to the Caryatids and Greek statuary, giving her a serious and timeless air that impresses and commands respect. The position of the model, the bust in front and the face in profile, is full of meaning: Lhote was a fervent admirer of ancient Egypt. The face of the young woman is not to be outdone, the eyes and eyebrows underlined in black, stretching towards the temple, the cheeks are stuffed, the aquiline nose stands out from the background and the jet hair evokes to everyone the figures painted in Egyptian tombs.
Nevertheless, this pastel is absolutely modern and very much inspired by the cubism then in vogue in the 1920s. Lhote through this portrait, creates the image of a Cleopatra, Queen of Egypt, modern and avant-garde.
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