press release

Wildenstein is pleased to announce an exhibition of still-life paintings, watercolors and drawings by French masters of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, which will open on February 1 of the year 2000. Although the depiction of inanimate objects ranked lowest in the traditional hierarchy of themes, in modern France it has consistently engaged the greatest painters. In the gallery’s presentation, a densely painted arrangement of pears and grapes on a white cloth by the young Paul Gauguin and Georges Braque’s elegant watercolor still life of fruit and musical instruments on a guéridon (formerly in the Billy Wilder collection) demonstrate that the humblest things can be invested with a quiet dignity, and the Braque calls to mind other post-Cubist treatments of the subject by Picasso. The show also includes Pierre Bonnard’s sumptuous bouquet of poppies and other wildflowers, one of the artist’s finest masterpieces dating from c. 1912, and Odilon Redon’s mysterious and almost incandescent bowl of imaginary flowers juxtaposed with a wraith-like head against a field of gold. Considerably more abstract are Léger’s composition with a blue vase and Nicolas de Staël’s almost witty evocation of three pears aligned on a plate and levitating against a two-toned background. Other artists represented in the exhibition are Henri Fantin-Latour, Berthe Morisot, Suzanne Valaldon, Edouard Vuillard, and Albert Marquet, whose jewel-like flowerpiece is exquisitely light in touch and mood.

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FRENCH STILL LIFES
French Drawings and Oil Sketches from the First Half of the 19th Century

Werke von Pierre Bonnard, Georges Braque, Raoul Dufy, Henri Fantin-Latour, Paul Gauguin, Albert Marquet, Berthe Morisot, Pablo Picasso, Odilon Redon, Paul Serusier, Nicolas de Staël, Suzanne Valaldon, Édouard Vuillard ...