25 March 2023
Sainte famille, signed with the artist’s monogram and dated 1902, further titled on the reverse.
Oil on canvas, 78.8 by 99.5 cm.
Provenance: Collection of M. Curt von Mutzenbecher, Wiesbaden
Collection of Joachim von Ribbentrop, Germany.
Collection of Mme Schrader, Berlin, acquired from the above c. 1940.
Thence by descent.
Private collection, Germany.
Neumeister Kunstauktionen, Munich, 26 June 1996, lot 562.
Impressionist and Post Impressionist Art, Christie's London, 7 December 1999, lot 169.
Authenticity of the work has been confirmed by Claire Denis, the artist’s granddaughter.
The work will be included in the forthcoming Maurice Denis Catalogue raisonné being prepared by Claire Denis and Fabienne Stahl.
Exhibited : Grandes Serres de l'Exposition universelle, Société des Artistes Indépendants, 18e exposition, Paris, 1902, No. 560.
La Libre Esthétique,Dixième exposition, Bruxelles, Musée Moderne, 26 February-29 March 1903, No. 113.
Peintures et meubles de la collection Kurt von Mutzenbecher, Wiesbaden, Grossherzogliches Museum für Kunst und Kunstgewerbe, Weimar, 1904, No. 4.
2000 Years of Christianity, European Art in Private and Corporate Russian Collections, Embassy of the Russian Federation, London, 2000, No. 38.
Literature: A. Mithouard, “Maurice Denis”, Art et Décoration, vol. XXII, July-December 1907, p. 4, illustrated.
A. Soffici, “Maurice Denis”, Vita d'Arte, Siena, No. 24, December 1909, illustrated.
F. Margotti, “Nuove manifestazioni d'arte Cristiana. Maurice Denis”, Arte Cristiana, Milan, No. 3, 15 March 1914, p. 67, illustrated.
G. Grondona, “L'Arte di Maurice Denis”, Vita e Pensiero. Rassegna italiane di coltura, vol. VII, No. 54, 20 June 1918, pp. 275-284, mentioned in the text.
L. Gillet, “A propos de l'exposition Maurice Denis”, Gazette des Beaux-Arts, 66th year, 5th period, vol. 10, 750th delivery, September-October 1924, pp. 197-212, mentioned in the text.
S. Barazzetti-Demoulin, Maurice Denis, Paris, Grasset, 1945, pp. 210-211, 282, mentioned in the text.
C. Schäfer, “Theaterintendant mit Faible für französische Kunst. Die Sammlung Kurt von Mutzenbecher in Wiesbaden”, Die Moderner und ihre Sammler, Berlin, Akademie Verlag, 2001, p. 125, illustrated.
The scene takes place in Jersey, in the Eure, where Denis spent August in 1900 at the house of Adrien Mithouard, the future mayor of Paris, a poet and a musician.
Friendship, which united the two presented mothers with children, symbolised for Denis the Biblical Holy Family. He placed Mary and the child Jesus on the left, they have features of Marthe Denis, the artist’s wife, and his daughter Noële (born on 30 June 1896). On the right there is St Elizabeth with John the Baptist painted from Mrs Mithouard and her only son Jacques (born September 14, 1894).
Another version of this composition, Deux mères, 1900, is in the collection of Musée Denis, St-Germain-en-Laye.
Notes on symbols:
* Indicates 5% Import Duty Charge applies.
◎ Indicates lot is located in Monaco and successful bidders would have to make arrangements to collect or ship their lots from Monaco after the payment. An import duty of 5% applies if the artwork is shipped to the UK.
Ω Indicates 20% Import Duty Charge applies.
§ Indicates Artist's Resale Right applies.
† Indicates Standard VAT scheme applies, and the rate of 20% VAT will be charged on both hammer price and premium.