Gauguin (Paul)

Lot 54
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Estimation :
30000 - 50000 EUR
Result with fees
Result : 40 980EUR
Gauguin (Paul)
Ɵ Autograph letter signed with original woods [Tahiti, June 1901] addressed to George Daniel de Monfreid. Tahiti, 1901. Woodcut in black (Oiseaux et Initiales, Morgan/ Kornfeld/Joachim 75) on the first and third leaves of the autograph letter signed to George Daniel de Monfreid of June 1901, 6 pages (22.7 x 17.5 cm). Two folders by Devauchelle. Two extremely rare prints (less than five are known) of Gauguin's famous original wood-monogram, in a crucial letter announcing his departure from Tahiti for the Marquesas in June 1901, one of the longest addressed to Monfreid, full of reflections on his art and life, evoking and complaining about dealers, collectors... and his wife. The wood appears at the top left of the first and last pages of the letter (no. 75 of the compilation published by Georges Falaize in 1950). According to the catalog raisonné (Morgan/Kornfeld/Joachim), only 2 or 3 other prints are known: on the July 1901 letter to Monfreid (but only the right-hand part of the wood was printed), on a letter to Charles Morice, and possibly on another to Ambroise Vollard (two isolated prints of the monogram alone, without the birds, are also identified. The present prints are the clearest and most complete, as Jean Loize already noted in 1951 in his exhibition on Monfreid. The present letter, one of the two or three longest to Monfreid, is particularly important: in it, the painter details his life and evokes his departure from Tahiti: "I'm leaving next month to settle in the Marquesas", and mentions his private difficulties, notably the fact that he cannot dispose of his money without his wife's agreement... and he instructs Monfreid to approach her. He also mentions his difficulties with merchants, and asks Monfreid to deal directly with Vollard, given the delays in correspondence: "I have written to Vollard that it is useless to deal with a matter by asking me, as our outward and return correspondence will be on average 5 to 6 months apart. You are therefore under orders to act on your own initiative, and I have written to Vollard that you are as much in favor of my business as I am". And compared to other dealers or intermediaries, he exclaims: "What I've been cheated out of in my existence!!!". But there is hope, linked to his forthcoming departure for Hiva Oa in the Marquesas: "The world is so stupid that when it sees paintings containing new and terrible elements, Tahiti will become understandable and charming. My paintings of Brittany became rosewater because of Tahiti; Tahiti will become cologne because of the Marquesas. As for the Degas clientele, for example, it's also possible that we're buying Marquesas to complete our collection. Maybe I'm wrong; we'll see. Nor does he spare certain colleagues: "They do Gauguin but better". Gauguin remains perfectly aware of the value of his work: "However, the calculation is that you have to take care of making good paintings, and then sooner or later it works - the critics pass - the good work remains - it's all there. Unfortunately, we only have a presentiment of the good work, it's time that affirms it and puts everything back in place". He concludes by supporting de Monfreid's work as a painter, offering to exchange it for "some wooden sculptures that I'd like to know you have [...] a small painting of yours, like your portrait for example, I'd be very happy to install in my little room in the Marquesas [...] I'd make a pretty little sculpted frame for it", before signing: "Best wishes to everyone. Yours always, Paul Gauguin". Provenance: George Daniel de Monfreid (the first name is spelled Georges in many works, with or without a hyphen). Exhibition: Les Amitiés du peintre Georges Daniel de Monfreid et ses reliques de Gauguin, Galerie Jean Loize, Paris, May-June 1951, no. 293.
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