8th May, 2018 12:00 EST

Modern & Contemporary Art

 
  Lot 9
 
Lot 9 - MARIA-MELA MUTER  (FRENCH/POLISH, 1876-1967)

9

MARIA-MELA MUTER (FRENCH/POLISH, 1876-1967)
WALDSPAZIERGANG (A WALK IN THE WOODS)

Signed bottom left, signed again verso, oil on canvas.
Executed circa 1920.
34 7/8 x 31 1/4 in. (88.6 x 79.4cm)

Provenance: The Artist.
Maxwell Galleries, Ltd., San Francisco, California (acquired directly from the above circa 1960).
Richard Litfin, California (acquired directly from the above in 1966).
By family descent.
Private Collection, Missoula, Montana.
EXHIBITED:
"Mela Muter: First One Man Exhibition in America of an Illustrious French Painter," Maxwell Galleries, Ltd., San Francisco, California, July 5 - August 6, 1966 (illustrated in the exhibition pamphlet).

NOTE:
We are grateful to Ms. Urszula Lazowski for confirming the authenticity of this work.

Sold for $68,750
Estimated at $30,000 - $50,000


 

Signed bottom left, signed again verso, oil on canvas.
Executed circa 1920.
34 7/8 x 31 1/4 in. (88.6 x 79.4cm)

Provenance: The Artist.
Maxwell Galleries, Ltd., San Francisco, California (acquired directly from the above circa 1960).
Richard Litfin, California (acquired directly from the above in 1966).
By family descent.
Private Collection, Missoula, Montana.
EXHIBITED:
"Mela Muter: First One Man Exhibition in America of an Illustrious French Painter," Maxwell Galleries, Ltd., San Francisco, California, July 5 - August 6, 1966 (illustrated in the exhibition pamphlet).

NOTE:
We are grateful to Ms. Urszula Lazowski for confirming the authenticity of this work.

Maria-Mela Muter is considered one of the first Polish women to successfully achieve an internationally recognized career in painting. Born in Warsaw in 1876, she married in 1899 and moved with her family to Paris in 1900. Although she briefly attended various art schools in Paris, she left before completing her studies. In later years, she would say that she was influenced by fellow École de Paris artists and was largely self-taught. Her early technique, marked by her careful use of color and short, energetic brushtrokes, reflects her own distinctive style and reveals the influence of the post-impressionist and fauvist painters to whom she would surely have been exposed during this time.In spite of her relocation to Paris, Muter remained intimately connected to her Polish roots as she worked intensively on her career. Her first individual exhibition took place in Warsaw in 1902 at the Society for the Promotion of Fine Arts. This was only the second presentation by a woman artist in the history of the institution. She also participated in exhibitions at the Society for the Friends of Fine Arts in Krakow and Lvov. In Paris she showed her work in exhibitions organized by Societé Nationale des Beaux Arts, Salon des Indépendents, Salon d’Automne and Salon des Tuileries.The present work, Waldspaziergang (A Walk In The Woods) was executed in the early 1920’s, during what was a turbulent time both for the artist personally and for Europe as a whole, given the upheaval caused by World War I. A few years prior she had met an intellectual and socialist activist, Raymond Lefebvre, with whom she formed a relationship that would precipitate the demise of her marriage in 1919. Along with Lefebvre, Muter surrounded herself with other left-wing French intellects like Romain Rolland, Anatole France and Henri Barbusse, and began publishing pacifist drawings for the magazine, “Clarté.” The present work, a serene depiction of two figures traveling a meandering path through colorful woods dappled with sunlight, belies the dark, political backdrop of the post-war era.

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