1 December 2010
The Dress Shop signed
Oil on panel, 50.5 by 38 cm.
Provenance: A gift of the artist to a close friend.
Thence by descent.
Private collection, USA.
Exhibited: Gluckmann: Recent Paintings, Milch Galleries, New York, April 27 - May 16 1953, No. 5, label on the reverse.
Literature: Exhibition catalogue, Gluckmann: Recent Paintings, Milch Galleries, April 27 - May 16 1953, No. 5, listed.
The painting offered here for auction is a splendid example from the artist's American period. Gluckmann was born in Russia but gained worldwide renown after moving first to Paris in the 1920s and then in 1941 to the USA. His works are to be found in many art museums, including the Musée National d'Art Moderne, the Musée du Luxembourg and the Petit Palais in Paris and others in Le Havre, San Diego and Chicago, as well as private collections around the world.
In Paris Gluckmann was a book illustrator for the publisher La Pléiade and exhibited in salons and shows. From the 1930s he devoted himself mainly to painting. Gluckmann loved painting people — in the street, in bars, at the theatre and backstage — and particularly women: actresses, ballerinas, circus artists and simply enchanting young ladies. He was famed for his sensuous nudes, following the principle to which he had adhered throughout his career: art must delight the eye, stimulate the intellect and bring emotional satisfaction.
And indeed Gluckmann’s female portraits are distinguished by a delicate, refined stylisation. His models, captured in whimsical poses, are graceful and elegant in a slightly precious way. They are often shown in profile or with their back to the viewer and, when they are shown front-on, their eyes are directed to the side, avoiding the viewer’s gaze. But in their affectation there is no calculating coquettishness — quite the contrary. It is as if they were caught at the moment of self-immersion, of introspection. Gluckmann’s Graces, lost in thought, their mind elsewhere, personify the eternal conception of womanhood, highly poeticised, sensual and enigmatic.
In Gluckmann’s painting we can discern the influence of Venetian master-colourists such as Titian, Veronese and Tintoretto, as well as French 17th- to early 18th-century artists, especially Watteau, Lancret and Pater. Gluckmann adapted the techniques of these masters, merging them organically with the traditions of Russian art.
Notes on symbols:
* Indicates 5% Import Duty Charge applies.
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.