(Bordeaux, 1885 – Paris, 1962)
Le Petit-Déjeuner, 1914
Oil on canvas
Signed upper left A. LHOTE.
35.2 x 27 cm
- Artist's estate
- Private collection, France
Will be included in the Catalogue raisonné de l’œuvre peint d’André Lhote in preparation by Mrs. Dominique Bermann-Martin
Certificate of authenticity from Dominique Bermann-Martin, Paris on March 27, 2021
This is a very classic subject, an interior scene, but revisited by the artist. The composition is perfectly structured, supported by a colorful and dynamic chromatic palette. By playing on numerous contrasts, notably between light and shadow, Lhote admirably conveys a moment of intimacy.
The scene is built in three superimposed planes according to the rule of the « golden ratio ». In the center, the artist represents his first wife : Marguerite, born Hayet, having tea.
The model is dressed in an indoor outfit with a charlotte. Marguerite is comfortably installed in a Maurice armchair in front of a Louis Philippe pedestal table. In the foreground on the right, a servant standing in a hieratic posture holds a tray. If
it seems frozen, it definitely catches our eye. Her “face-mask” evokes a part of African culture from which Lhote, himself a great admirer and collector of African sculptures, has drawn. To balance the composition, there are also in the foreground but on the left, the vertical of a French window and the diagonal of a curtain.
Finally, in the background a large window lets glimpse boats in the Port of Bordeaux and flags of different nations: France, Belgium, United Kingdom: three allied countries at war which symbolize unity but also, undoubtedly in the context , an allegory of the struggle for freedom.
With "Le petit déjeuner", André Lhote makes a beautiful demonstration of his unique pictorial style by highlighting his very personal vision of cubism and his talent as a
colorist by using a daring play of lines, curves and overlays, a complex system. of interacting plans and geometric figurative elements that give this composition amodernity.