Arlequin - Nature Morte – Intereuir


Pougny, Jean b.1894, Moscow, Russia d. 1956, Paris France


Arlequin - Nature Morte – Intereuir, signed in the plate ‘Pougny’ lower right


Lithograph in colours


wove 30 x 29.5 cm


good to very good, the edges are somewhat frayed over time with excessive handling. The colours are still fresh and vibrant.

Reference / Literature:

for the painting that inspired the lithograph, see Herman Berninger, Pougny : catalogue de l'œuvre, Paris – Côte d'Azur, 1924-1956, peintures.


Private collection, France


Contact for price

He began his career as a constructivist painter that rival Malevich in ability and output, yet he remained a free spirit artistically and thereby satisfied his own personal creative urges. His career was pocked with purist constructivist forms in his early work including collage, assemblage, stage design and painting. While still in Russia these works were often Cubist in principle with lacerating and oblique lines with angles that channelled Picasso without not having made his acquaintance at this point of his career.

This work on offer, is a colourful lithograph, and an exceptional work by Pougny. It typifies the artist’s late painterly style of representation: people and places, in the same manner one would if one were to put paint to a canvas. Many of his late paintings were daubes of coloured paint, that when eyed from s distance resembles the movement and life of the human form, sometimes in a busy street or the human form as an individual dressing in the privacy of a domestic space.  In the lithograph that is on offer, his use of colour is highly evocative of the colour palette used by the Fauvist painters, Matisse and Derain. On what appears to be a chair or the end of a bed to be a twist of fabrics, a rug perhaps. Pougny’s use of colour is highly textured, giving the illusion of fabrics that have been woven. Unique, however, is the artist’s placement of the object in the centre of the space surrounded by the sea of orange. The configuration is distorted, appearing to be painted from above, an odd aerial perspective for a domestic scene. Here, Pougny channels the constructivist urges that defied spatial logic, seen in twisting forms of Rodchenko and the futuristic melding of shapes and structures in Tatlin, yet Pougny remains faithful to the original tenets of Modernism; the exploitation of the surface of the ground used by the artist, (in this case paper), allows the artist to emphasise how forms were treated on the two- dimensional surface. This self-referential ploy, first exploited by Manet, is resurrected here by an artist who left behind his Russian moniker of Ivan Puni behind and become a French citizen by the name of Jean Pougny.  

The work is housed in a very stylish mirror finish bespoke frame that enhances the work and heightens its colour palette.