Art Deco

 
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Lot 59
Jean DUNAND (1877-1942)
LA CONQUÊTE DU CHEVAL - CIRCA 1935
Deux panneaux décoratifs en latérite et poudre minérale à décor en laque, feuille d'or et poudre d'or représentant une scène en bas-relief de capture de chevaux sauvages au lasso.
Signé sur un des deux panneaux en bas à droite.
80 x 240 cm (chaque panneau)
(31,49 x 94,48 in. each panel)

Provenance :
Les panneaux ont été acquis par les parents des actuels propriétaires au début des années cinquante. Les panneaux sont restés dans la famille jusqu'à ce jour.

Historique :
Le thème de la Conquête du cheval est traité pour la première fois par Jean Dunand dans le cadre de la décoration monumentale du fumoir du paquebot Normandie inauguré en 1935. Il sera par la suite développé par l'artiste en des panneaux de plus petite taille destinés aux collectionneurs privés. Dans son catalogue raisonné de l'oeuvre de Jean Dunand, Félix Marcilhac ne répertorie que deux exemplaires de "La conquête du cheval" dans une conception en deux panneaux horizontaux. Les premiers vendus par Ader-Picard-Tajan en 1974 et conservés aujourd'hui au Musée d'Art Moderne du Havre sont de tailles réduites (80 x 170 cm). Les seconds, dont on ne connait pas la taille, présentent une variante dans la composition. L'ensemble que nous présentons aujourd'hui à la vente, de 2,40 mètres de long, reste ainsi à ce jour le plus spectaculaire.

Bibliographie :
L'Illustration, "Normandie", 1er juin 1935, p. 206 pour une illustration des panneaux du salon fumoir du paquebot Normandie; Félix Marcilhac, Jean Dunand vie et œuvre, catalogue des œuvres, Les Éditions de l'Amateur, Paris, 1991, variantes de la "Conquête du cheval" référencées et reproduites p. 316.

TWO LOW RELIEF MONUMENTAL PANELS; LACQUER, GOLD LEAF AND GOLD POWDER; SIGNED ON ONE PANEL

"La conquête du cheval" (The conquest of the horse) was originally a monumental work, one of five mural decorations designed by Jean Dunand in 1931 on the theme of man's amusements and pleasures for the first-class smoking-room on the "Normandie", the well-known luxury ocean liner. First launched in 1935, the ship was a veritable floating palace, showcasing French decorative arts and the greatest artists of the 1930s, such as Louis Sue, René Lalique, and Raymond Subes. The smoking-room, with its hand-carved, lacquered plaster panels by Dunand with "La chasse" (the hunt), "La danse", "Les vendanges" (wine harvest), and of course "La conquête du cheval", was one of the most extraordinary contributions to the ship's remarkable décor. Both specialists and ordinary travelers found much to admire during that almost mythical crossing from Le Havre to New York.
Between 1935 and 1936, three Parisian exhibitions honored the work of Dunand for the "Normandie". The artist presented models and designs but also reduced-size lacquered panels created from the original panels on the ship for sale at the Galerie du Grand Dépôt and later the Galerie Charpentier. Some of the smaller versions were given to the artist's assistants and a number of French statesmen and foreigners, including President Lebrun and Gaston Doumergue. During the spring of 1936, an exhibition entitled "Invitation au voyage" celebrated once again the majestic decors of the "Normandie".
Although smaller versions of "La conquête du cheval" as a single small-sized panel were executed by Dunand in a relatively small number of copies, our two imposing panels are exceptional. In his catalogue raisonné of the work of Jean Dunand, Félix Marcilhac includes only two copies of "La conquête du cheval" with the double horizontal panel design. The first, sold by Ader-Picard-Tajan in 1974 and currently held by the Modern Art Museum of Le Havre, was smaller (31.5 × 66.9 inch). The second, whose size is unknown, shows a compositional variation. Today we will be auctioning the 2.40 meter long version, still the most spectacular one.
Its large size, the compositional complexities, and mastery of empty space in this horizontal format all amplify the energy of the race and the tension of the scene. More than in any other version of "La conquête du cheval", here we can once again experience the majestic scale of the original work in the smoking room on the "Normandie". Dunand's very great technical skill in working in plaster both in haut and bas-relief, accentuating the third dimension and the movement of the horses, as well as his incomparable abilities in handling colored and gold lacquer, are fully exemplified here. "La conquête du cheval", both on the "Normandie" and in our two panels, is the most impressive work among the five compositions on the theme of mankind's amusements and pleasures as envisioned by Dunand. It is one of Jean Dunand's most important works and a truly remarkable example of French decorative arts in the 1930s.


Estimation 250 000 - 300 000 €
Sold for 361,400 €
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Sale Information

Sale: 2667
Location: Artcurial
Date: 25 Nov 2014 19:00
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Auctioneer: François Tajan

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21 November, 11am-7pm
22 November, 11am-6pm
23 November, 2pm-6pm
24 November, 11am-7pm

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