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Lot No. 210


Georges Mathieu *


(Boulogne-sur-Mer 1921–2012 Boulogne-Billancourt)
Sébastien, comte de Montecuculi, tiré à quatre chevaux, 1960, signed and dated Mathieu 60, titled on the stretcher, oil on canvas, 89 x 130 cm, framed

We are grateful to Jean-Marie Cusinberche for his assistance in cataloguing this work.

Provenance:
Galerie Internationale d’Art Contemporain, Paris
Galleria del Naviglio, Milan
Private Collection, Rome
Galleria Blu, Milan (stamp on the stretcher)
Private Collection, Asti
Millon, Hotel Drouot, Paris, 20 November 2017, lot 26
European Private Collection

Exhibited:
Milan, Galleria del Naviglio, Mathieu, Peintures et Gouaches,
14 June - 30 June 1961, cat. no. 3

“Working on a previously prepared background, I execute a movement that, done at its maximum efficiency, requires nothing more to be added; I would go so far as to say that, for me, the paintings where I have managed to express the maximum with the minimum are the strongest, the most important.”
Georges Mathieu

[…] Georges Mathieu painted a very small number of the ‘Zen’ works during his career, works that employ minimum signs for maximum force. […] They allow us to imagine that state of the ecstatic trance Mathieu sometimes attained after occasional lengthy periods of intense concentration. His paintings, behind what at first appears as intense sobriety, are in fact the result of tremendously focused energy, employed in a rapid and intuitive manner across canvases assailed by “brushstrokes and paint deposits imbued with maximum efficiency”, to the point where any addition becomes superfluous, leaving us to discover a small number of powerful ideograms written in Mathieu’s language, where “sign precedes meaning.” […]
georges-mathieu.fr

The title of this work, “Sébastien, comte de Montecuculi, tiré à quatre chevaux”, refers to an Italian nobleman in the service of Francis I of France, who was executed for allegedly having poisoned the King’s eldest son.
As secretary to the Dauphin Francis, heir to the French throne, he was suspected of having poisoned him with a glass of water as Francis unexpectedly died on August 10, 1536. Under torture Montecuculli con-fessed to having tried to poison King Francis and the Dauphin. Later he retracted his con-fession but was executed by écartèlement, that is, drawn and quartered.
Mathieu loved using historical titles, even when there was absolutely no relation to the work itself. In this context, the French art critic, Michel Tapié, declared:

“It is without the slightest regret, and [Mathieu] fully knows this, but with a maximum of intentional provocation, that he gives them titles … which by force place the viewer beyond absurd everyday mediocrity ...”.

Specialist: Mag. Patricia Pálffy Mag. Patricia Pálffy
+43-1-515 60-386

patricia.palffy@dorotheum.at

05.06.2019 - 17:00

Realized price: **
EUR 100,300.-
Estimate:
EUR 60,000.- to EUR 80,000.-

Georges Mathieu *


(Boulogne-sur-Mer 1921–2012 Boulogne-Billancourt)
Sébastien, comte de Montecuculi, tiré à quatre chevaux, 1960, signed and dated Mathieu 60, titled on the stretcher, oil on canvas, 89 x 130 cm, framed

We are grateful to Jean-Marie Cusinberche for his assistance in cataloguing this work.

Provenance:
Galerie Internationale d’Art Contemporain, Paris
Galleria del Naviglio, Milan
Private Collection, Rome
Galleria Blu, Milan (stamp on the stretcher)
Private Collection, Asti
Millon, Hotel Drouot, Paris, 20 November 2017, lot 26
European Private Collection

Exhibited:
Milan, Galleria del Naviglio, Mathieu, Peintures et Gouaches,
14 June - 30 June 1961, cat. no. 3

“Working on a previously prepared background, I execute a movement that, done at its maximum efficiency, requires nothing more to be added; I would go so far as to say that, for me, the paintings where I have managed to express the maximum with the minimum are the strongest, the most important.”
Georges Mathieu

[…] Georges Mathieu painted a very small number of the ‘Zen’ works during his career, works that employ minimum signs for maximum force. […] They allow us to imagine that state of the ecstatic trance Mathieu sometimes attained after occasional lengthy periods of intense concentration. His paintings, behind what at first appears as intense sobriety, are in fact the result of tremendously focused energy, employed in a rapid and intuitive manner across canvases assailed by “brushstrokes and paint deposits imbued with maximum efficiency”, to the point where any addition becomes superfluous, leaving us to discover a small number of powerful ideograms written in Mathieu’s language, where “sign precedes meaning.” […]
georges-mathieu.fr

The title of this work, “Sébastien, comte de Montecuculi, tiré à quatre chevaux”, refers to an Italian nobleman in the service of Francis I of France, who was executed for allegedly having poisoned the King’s eldest son.
As secretary to the Dauphin Francis, heir to the French throne, he was suspected of having poisoned him with a glass of water as Francis unexpectedly died on August 10, 1536. Under torture Montecuculli con-fessed to having tried to poison King Francis and the Dauphin. Later he retracted his con-fession but was executed by écartèlement, that is, drawn and quartered.
Mathieu loved using historical titles, even when there was absolutely no relation to the work itself. In this context, the French art critic, Michel Tapié, declared:

“It is without the slightest regret, and [Mathieu] fully knows this, but with a maximum of intentional provocation, that he gives them titles … which by force place the viewer beyond absurd everyday mediocrity ...”.

Specialist: Mag. Patricia Pálffy Mag. Patricia Pálffy
+43-1-515 60-386

patricia.palffy@dorotheum.at


Buyers hotline Mon.-Fri.: 9.00am - 6.00pm
kundendienst@dorotheum.at

+43 1 515 60 200
Auction: Post-War and Contemporary Art I
Date: 05.06.2019 - 17:00
Location: Vienna | Palais Dorotheum
Exhibition: 25.05. - 05.06.2019


** Purchase price incl. charges and taxes

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