TEFAF Online 2021

9 - 13 September 2021

Connaught Brown is delighted to participate in this year's online instalment of TEFAF, running from 9th - 13th September 2021. Exhibiting masterpieces from the oeuvres of Pierre Bonnard, Edgar Degas and Raoul Dufy we are able to showcase three beautiful works which attest to the importance of art as a collected object.

 

Modelled circa 1885, Edgar Degas' sculpture, Danse Espagnole, is an exceptional work. Even within the context of Degas' uniquely lyrical and dynamic art, this model stands out as notable accomplishment. With other casts held in the Tate Gallery in London, the Metropolitan Museum in New York, and the Musée d'Orsay in Paris it would be fair to say that this is a highly regarded composition. It combines Degas' rich, tactile modelling with his remarkable understanding of movement. The result is a work which is a tour de force when viewed from any angle. This museum quality has been recognised by several of the most important galleries in recent history, and the present cast has passed through the hands of Galerie Beyler, Knoedler & Co., and Richard Feigen. Each of these storied bodies needs little introduction, but their impact on twentieth century collecting cannot be understated. They handled some of the most considerable masterpieces of the modern era, and sold works to the leading collectors of the day. To have passed through all of their hands is extraordinary and is the greatest testimony that can be made to the quality of this work.

 

Raoul Dufy's 1928 painting, Bateaux pavoises à Deauville, represents an altogether different significance for collectors. Maritime scenes depicting Deauville in Normandy are some of Dufy's most coveted works. Such is the significance of this theme his 1933 work, Deauville, Drying the Sails resides in the Tate collection, London, and another similar composition, Sailing-Boats in Trouville, 1936, is in the Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg. The present work entered the collection of Andre Pisart shortly after it was painted and has remained tucked away for over 90 years, passing from generation to generation. Evidently loved by these successive generations the work has never previously come to the market. Alongside distinguished provenance rarity is a source of considerable interest for collectors, which presently offers the opportunity to acquire a work which has only ever been in the hands of one family.

 

Jeunes femmes dans la rue, by Pierre Bonnard, dates from a particularly celebrated period of his work, during the 1920s. It was by this point that Bonnard had fully established his own visual vocabulary and achieved considerable commercial success. The ebullient palette which is so closely associated with his oeuvre, and the readily identifiable subject matter of this painting are clear comments on Bonnard's confidence and capability. The painting remained in Bonnard's possession for the last twenty years of his life and was therefore clearly an image he had great affection for, choosing to hold on to it for all that time. Following Bonnard's death in 1947 the work underwent a turbulent transition from his estate to that of his wife's nieces, the Bovers sisters, much later making its way to different private collection. Legal battles over many years eventually resulted in the work being passed to this removed section of the family, shining the light on the other side of collecting, and adding a frisson of scandal to this particular object.