Oil on cardboard
54,7 x 27,6 cm
Signed middle left "Olga Boznańska."
On the reverse, on the cardboard:
An illegible inscription
A pink label with the inscription: XXI. Esposiz.[zione] Biennal.[e] Internaz.[ionale] d'Arte | di Venezia - 1938 - XVI |14
A fragment of torn off label
The label of the XXI International Biennial Exhibition of Fine Arts Venice 1938 mentioning the name of the artist O. de Boznańska, the title of the work Flowers (Peonies); the owner The Artist and his address Paris VIe, 49 bld Montparnasse and an inscription in Polish: XXI Biennale w Wenecji| Komisariat Działu Polskiego| z ramienia M-wa Spraw Zagr. [Commissariat of the Polish Section on behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs]
The label of the supply dealer Lucien Lefebvre-Foinet: Lucien Lefebvre-Foinet|19, rue Vavin and 2, rue Bréa, Paris VIe|3257|Fine colors and fabrics, stamped with a French customs stamp
Below, a stamp of the French customs
Acquired by the current owner's grandfather in the 1930s
By descent, to the present owner
Venice Biennale, 1938
Olga BOZNAŃSKA (1865 Krakow - 1940 Paris), born of a Polish father and a French mother, trained in Krakow, then in Munich. She moved to Paris in 1898, where she exhibited regularly at the Salon de la Société nationale des beaux-arts, as well as at the Salon d'automne, the Salon des Tuileries, and in private galleries. She showed her work throughout Europe, in the United States and Japan and was the recipient of numerous awards, medals and distinctions at the III Internationale Kunst-Ausstellung in Vienna in 1894, the 1900 World's Fair in Paris, the X International Art Exhibition in Munich in 1905, the International Art Exhibition at the Carnegie Institute in Pittsburgh in 1907, among others. One of the most important Polish artists, she is famous for her portraits and still lifes painted in her own individual style. Her works can be found in all the most important museums in Poland, especially in the National Museums in Krakow and Warsaw, as well as in France (Musée d'Orsay), Belgium (Musée Émile Verhaeren), Italy (Ca' Pesaro in Venice), the United States (Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, DC, Telfair Museum in Savannah, Polish Museum of America in Chicago, Ukraine (National Art Gallery in Lviv), Japan, as well as in numerous private collections throughout the world.
In 1938, the XXI Venice Biennale celebrated the work of Polish painter Olga Boznańska, hosting her retrospective exhibition consisting of twenty-seven paintings from different periods. The artist shows five paintings depicting flowers, including a bouquet of peonies in a glass vase.
Known primarily as an excellent portraitist, Boznańska is also a lover of flowers, which she frequently depicts as one of the elements in her still lifes or as the main motif in her bouquets. On the one hand, she focuses on the beauty of flowers, on the other hand, she makes her talents to pictorially render the material of the vessel, such as the smooth and cold appearance of glass and its transparency.
Peonies is a good example of Boznańska's style from the later period, from the 1930s, where the painter does not hesitate to make extensive use of the color of the cardboard left in reserve as a background for her composition placed in an undefined space. She chose red flowers whose color contrasts with the beige of the background. The whole is painted very freely and the barely sketched forms compose a game of almost abstract spots of color.
Dr Ewa Bobrowska, CEBM-Cabinet d'expertises Bobrowska-Mielniczuk (firstname.lastname@example.org)