ROGER DE LA FRESNAYE (FRENCH, 1885-1925) STILL-LIFE PAINTING, oil on canvas, very fine composition of fruit, bowl, and bottle on a table against an abstract geometric background in the Cubist manner, elements of bold brushwork bordering on impasto, evidence of pentimento, signed at lower edge. Housed in a modern frame. Circa 1910. 12 3/4" x 15 3/4" sight, 17 3/4" x 20 3/4" OA.
Painting in very good visual condition with minor craquelure and areas of discoloration. Two-inch vertical gouge with surface loss in upper right corner with associated inpainting. Old scattered inpainting to book at right edge, background, and to table. Examination report by the Richmond Conservation Studio available upon request.
Provenance: Property of a Virginia lady.
Ex-collection of Benjamin Franklin Garber of Harrisonburg, VA and New York, NY.
Estate of William Cameron Kennedy, New York, NY.
Ex-Hirschl & Adler Galleries, New York, NY, purchased by the above in 1962.
Catalogue Note: Roger de la Fresnaye (1885-1925) was an important French painter of the first quarter of the 20th century. Following years of study at the Acadamie Juliene and the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris, de la Fresnaye became interested in Cubism and the work of Braque and Picasso among others. His Cubist compositions from the 1910s, for which he is primarily known, demonstrate the artist's attempts to articulate a distinct vision through his own unique interpretation of the Cubist methodology. Sadly, Fresnaye's brilliant career was cut short by the harsh realities of World War I, when the artist, after enlisting, contracted tuberculosis and never fully recovered enough to resume painting to the degree he had done before. He died, not long afterward, at the age of 40.
The present still-life, an important transitional work in the artist's short career, overtly draws upon older, 19th-century stylistic tendencies, especially the work of Cezanne, while simultaneously pushing forward towards Modernism and pure abstraction in its overall design. The appearance of the present work, fresh to the market after almost 60 years, represents a rare opportunity to acquire a significant painting from a major artist of the early 20th century.
We would like to thank Stuart Feld of Hirschl & Adler for his assistance in verifying the provenance for this lot.