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    Description

    ACHILLE EMILE OTHON FRIESZ (French, 1879-1949)
    La Rance, 1936
    Oil on canvas
    21 x 25-1/2 inches (53.3 x 64.8 cm)
    Signed and dated lower right: E. Othon Friesz / 1936

    PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE TEXAS COLLECTION

    PROVENANCE:
    Gift from the artist to his daugher upon the birth of her son Phillip;
    Galerie Charpentier, Paris (label verso);
    Wally Findlay Galleries, New York;
    Private collection, Washington, D.C., purchased from the above, 1967;
    By descent to the present owner.

    LITERATURE:
    M. Gauthier, Othon Friesz, Geneva, 1957, No. 112, illus.

    Othon Friesz's lush and verdant La Rance is a love song to the countryside of Normandy and Brittany, which inspired some of his best works from his late period. Early in his career, around 1905, Friesz had defined himself as a Fauve painter, together with such colleagues as Raoul Dufy, Henri Matisse, and André Derain, whose compositions with bold, primary colors and flattened forms influenced successive generations of modernist artists. After World War I, however, Friesz yearned for a return to the traditional painting tenets that he had learned in art school in Le Havre: solid volumes, spatial separation of planes, and more subdued color.

    It was while vacationing in Dinan and Saint-Malo in Brittany in 1935-36, that Friesz hiked along the Rance, a local river, and encountered an ideal setting for his naturalistic landscapes:

    He discovers, on the Rance, a landscape of trees and water which enchants him because it responds to his ideal of classicism and nature and which he made the background of several compositions where the female nude harmonizes with the rhythms and colors of the sky and the earth [translated].1

    The resulting "La Rance" paintings - the present lot, as well as others like Paysage sur la Rance, La Rance à Dinan, and Baigneuses sur La Rance - share key features, notably a palette of earth-tone greens and tans, energized brushwork, and a balanced composition where a dense screen of trees weights bands of water and sky. Compared to others in the series, La Rance includes an interesting architectural feature - the Roman aqueduct passing over a section of the river - and especially lively lines and patterning.

    1M. Gauthier, Othon Friesz, Geneva, 1957, p. 128.




    Condition Report*: Original canvas; scattered spots of exposed canvas, particularly in trees at far left (possibly the artist's original intent); appears to be in overall very good condition; does not appear to be evidence of in-painting under UV exam. Framed Dimensions 31.5 X 36 Inches
    *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. Some condition issues may not be noted in the condition report but are apparent in the provided photos which are considered part of the condition report. 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.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2013
    15th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 5
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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