Trois jeunes filles aux petits chiens
oil on canvas 38 x 46 cm Marie Laurencin
Rau Collection for UNICEF
Marie Laurencin's works always appear delicate, youthful and cheerful. They are less rigorous than many of Picasso's, whom Laurencin met in 1907 when she started to move in his circles. The three young ladies shown here have a dance-like gracefulness about them - an association that is hardly surprising as, from 1924 onwards, Marie Laurencin repeatedly designed costumes and stage sceneries for a variety of ballet companies. Her palette is dominated by delicate pastels in numerous nuances: light blue, pink, lightened green and light grey as well as a vibrant lemon yellow. The transitions between the colours, which the artist deliberately thinned down with turpentine, are not gradual but executed in areas. Red and black highlights, on the other hand, were used quite sparingly for the puckered lips, cherry-like eyes, a dog's ear and the silhouette of a calf.
Guillaume Apollinaire, who was Marie Laurencin's friend and, for a while, her lover, wrote about her: "Since that time there has always been this feminine arabesque behind the careful execution of her pictures, a feature which she knew how to preserve and keep intact. She was different from someone like Picasso who, by sublimating the still unknown quality of an object, endeavoured to get everything out of it that might be associated with an aesthetic emotion. Marie Laurencin, however, whose art was born out of the painting techniques of Henri Matisse and Picasso, was above all concerned to express the painterly newness of objects and figures. (...) In this way she followed nature, studied it diligently but carefully excluded everything that was neither young nor graceful." (See Guillaume Apollinaire, Marie Laurencin, in: Die Maler des Kubismus, 1913, quoted in exhib. cat. Düsseldorf 1957/1958 (Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen), Marie Laurencin, n. p.).
Formerly Collection Silvano Lodi, Ticino
Tokyo/ Miyazaki/ Shimane/ Yokohama/ Ehime 1999/ 2000 (Yasuda Kasai Museum of Art/ Miyazaki Prefectural Art Museum/ Shimane Art Museum/ Sogo Museum of Art, The Sankei Shimbun/ The Museum of Art, Ehime), Rau Collection, cat. no. 105, p. 264 f. with colour illus., p. 314 f. with illus.; Collection Rau, cat. no. 105, p. 264 with colour illus., p. 265 with illus., p. 314 f.; Paris/Roterdam 2000/ 2001 (Musée du Luxembourg/ Kunsthal Rotterdam) (with label on reverse), From Fra Angelico to Bonnard, Masterpieces from the Rau Collection, cat. no. 105, p. 258 f. with colour illus.; Cologne/ Munich 2001/ 2002 (Wallraf-Richartz-Museum in der Josef-Haubrich-Kunsthalle/ Haus der Kunst), Meisterwerke von Fra Angelico bis Bonnard. Fünf Jahrhunderte Malerei. Die Sammlung des Dr. Rau, cat. p. 256, no. 105 with colour illus., Bergamo 2002 (Accademia Carrara), Collection Rau, cat. no. 105, p. 258 f. with colour illus.; Portland/ Dayton/ Nashville 2004/ 2005/ 2006 (Portland Art Museum) (with label on reverse)/ The Dayton Art Institute/ Tennessee State Museum), Collection Rau; Lissabon 2006 (Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga), Grandes Mestres da Pintura: de Fra Angelico a Bonnard. Coleccao Rau, cat. p. 232 with colour illus. no. 94; Bogota 2006 (Casa de la Moneda), Collection Rau, cat. no. 105, p. 258 f. with colour illus.