November 20 — 25, 2021
Auction begins to close at 2:00 pm ET
Maurice Denis (1870-1943)
Lot 61 Details
Maurice Denis (1870-1943), French
FEMMES SUR LE BALCON, ESQUISSE I, (WOMEN ON THE BALCONY, SKETCH I), CA. 1913
Oil on board; signed with the workshop monogram (monogramme de l’atelier) "MAVD" lower right, titled and dated "ca. 1913" to the accompanying Certificate of Authenticity from Mme. Claire Denis, dated at Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France, October 10, 2020, Catalogue raisonné N° 912.0002
15 ins x 10.4 ins; 38 cms x 26.5 cms
Coll. Jean-François Denis, son of the artist by descent;
Me Loudmer, Paris Drouot, June 16 1990, lot 65;
Christie's, London, UK, June 26, 1996, lot 323;
From whom purchased by the Present Private Collection, Western Canada
Claire Denis, granddaughter of Maurice Denis, co-author of the "Catalogue raisonné de l'oeuvre de Maurice Denis," has viewed this work in person and provided a letter of Authenticity to the present Private Collection, Cat. N° 912.0002 in the Catalogue raisonné currently in preparation by Madame Claire Denis
Claire Denis, granddaughter of Maurice Denis, identifies the location of this scene as the balcony of the painter's house, "Silencio" in Perros-Guires (Brittany) with Denis' girls and a friend looking at the sunset.
According to Mme. Denis, the figures depicted are the artist's daughters: on the left is the eldest, Noële, born in 1896, the little one is Madeleine, born in 1906, and the others are probably Bernadette, born in 1899 (on the right) and Anne-Marie, born in 1901, holding her little sister. The tall woman in a black skirt is possibly a friend.
Mme. Denis was able to date this lot circa 1913 instead of 1912, based on the date of a sketch appearing in a letter written on July 15, 1913 (Ms 8368).
Mme. Denis states that the artist painted three oils of this subject. The final version is very similar but larger and painted on canvas. At the time Mme. Denis compiled her certificate for this lot in 2021, the final larger version on canvas, titled "Femmes sur le balcon," ca. 1912, was held in a private collection at the Museum of Morlaix, France (Cat. N° 912.0003, illustrated in colour on her certificate as a comparison to this lot). The third version of this subject is registered as Cat. N° 912.0039.
We would like to thank Claire Denis for confirming the authenticity of the work.