DescriptionMORGAN RUSSELL (American, 1886-1953)
Capucines (Nasturtiums), 1912
Oil on canvas
21-5/8 x 15 inches (54.9 x 38.1 cm)
Signed twice and dated lower right: Morgan Russell / M. Russell 1912
PROPERTY FROM THE KING COLLECTION, TEXAS
Mary L. Willard, New York, likely purchased from the Armory Show, March 15, 1913;
Terry DeLapp Gallery, Los Angeles;
Acquired by the present owner from the above, September 1986.
(Possibly) "The International Exhibition of Modern Art" (Armory Show), New York, February 17-March 15, 1913;
Montclair Museum of Art, Montclair, New Jersey, and elsewhere, "Morgan Russell: A Retrospective," April 22-June 17, 1990;
El Paso Museum of Art, El Paso, Texas, "Round Up: Selected Works from Friends of the El Paso Museum of Art," January 26-April 8, 2001;
El Paso Museum of Art, El Paso, Texas, "Modern American Painting 1907-1936: The Maria and Barry King Collection," September 8, 2013-January 8, 2014, no. 27.
M. Kushner, Morgan Russell: A Retrospective, exhibition catalogue, Montclair Museum of Art, Montclair, New Jersey, 1990, pp. 78 & 83, pl. 58, illustrated;
J. Anderson Kyle, Cézanne and American Painting 1900-1920, Ph.D. dissertation, University of Texas, Austin, 1995, pp. 417-34, fig. 117, illustrated;
W. Thompson, Round Up: Selected Works from Friends of the El Paso Museum of Art, exhibition catalogue, El Paso Museum of Art, El Paso, Texas, 2001, p. 12, illustrated;
"Discovering the American Modern 1907-1936: The King Collection," American Art Review, December 2013, pp. 80-87, 127, illustrated;
P.S. Cable, Modern American Painting 1907-1936: The Maria and Barry King Collection, exhibition catalogue, El Paso Museum of Art, El Paso, Texas, 2013, pp. 27-28, no. 27, illustrated.
Capucines (Nasturtiums) is one of the earliest known surviving Modernist still life paintings by Morgan Russell. "Painted by one of the two originators of...Synchromism, this 'proto-Synchromist' picture dates from 1912, the year before Morgan Russell and his American colleague Stanton MacDonald-Wright launched Synchromism through exhibitions in Munich and then Paris. The still life is likely one of two paintings the artist sent back home from Paris for the historic 1913 Armory Show. (The Armory Show catalog titles a Russell entry as Capucine (nasturtiums in French) and is dated '1912.')
"One could say that the canvas synthesizes inspiration from Cézanne and Matisse with glimpses of Russell's Synchromism to come. The isolated bits of canvas left bare between certain forms or between lit and shaded areas, together with the overall system of diagonal strokes structuring tabletop, flower pot, and backdrop, manifest Russell's intimate knowledge of Cézanne. The pastel colors as well as the motif of a simple houseplant in a terra-cotta pot recall Matisse, with whom Russell studied from 1908 to 1910 at the Académie Matisse organized by Sarah Stein. Simultaneously, the pictorial 'halos' of blue around the orange-red blossoms, and the manner in which these color strokes and those of violet around the leaves begin to take on an importance as the forms they surround--these features point toward Russell's Synchromism, an abstract style founded on the idea of color as the basis for both form and content" (P.S. Cable, Modern American Painting 1907-1936: The Maria and Barry King Collection, exhibition catalogue, El Paso Museum of Art, El Paso, Texas, 2013, p. 83).
Estimate: $50,000 - $70,000.
Canvas is lined. There appear to be very fine scattered vertical lines of inpaint to fill craquelure in the background throughout (very minor). There appears to be a 2" x 1" area of inpaint in the upper right portion of the flower pot, as well as areas of very light craquelure. This painting is framed using Optium (museum acrylic glazing), which provides clear legibility for examination with both white light and black light. In order to maintain the integrity and airtight sealing of the housing, the painting was not viewed out of the frame for the condition report. Should you wish to have a more extensive report, we recommend firsthand inspection by a professional conservator. For assistance, please contact the department.
*Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.
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