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This March at Bellmans Auctioneers, lot 1068 – attributed to Georges Braque (1882-1963), ‘Trois Colombes’ (Three Doves), a signed work in gouache dating from 1954, is being sold as part of Bellmans monthly paintings auction, and will carry an auction estimate of £8,000-12,000 when it goes under the hammer after 2pm on Wednesday 20th March.
Born on 13 May 1882 to a house decorator from Argenteuil, Braque was educated at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris from 1897 to 1899, and at the Académie Humbert between 1903 and 1904. After viewing the exhibition of the "Fauves" in the Salon d'Automne in 1905, he was inspired to adopt their bright colours in his works. His meeting in 1907 with Pablo Picasso after viewing ‘Les Demoiselles d'Avignon’ resulted in a close friendship and artistic association between the two men, most notably in the period between 1908 and 1912. Their respective works were indistinguishable for many years, yet Braque’s understated personality resulted in him being eclipsed in many ways by the infamy surrounding Picasso: Braque was more dedicated to contemplative periods in his studio than to being a big character in the art world.
Yet while his relationship with Picasso and the Cubist works of that period are among his best known, Braque enjoyed a long painting career that developed far beyond Cubism. After sustaining a severe head injury serving in World War One which resulted in his temporary blindness, Braque was only able to resume painting again in 1917; even then making works which would not be exhibited until 1923. By this time working alone, Braque began to develop a more personal style, which diluted the often harsh abstraction of Cubism. His works became characterised by brilliant colour, textured surfaces and a freer style than in his Cubist works, all of which can be said to have been influenced by his relocation to the Normandy seacoast. At the time of his death on 31 August 1963, Braque was regarded as one of the most respected ‘elders’ of French Modern Art.
‘Trois Colombes’ was consigned for sale at Bellmans by the executors of a deceased estate. The attribution of this work to George Braque is a result of strong supporting provenance: it was sold at Christies New York on 25 February 2004 (lot 134), where it was sold for $31,070; previously from The Belgravia Gallery, London. Further details including its exhibition history are outlined within the Bellmans auction catalogue. The entire auction is on view from midday on Friday 13th March until the day of the sale, and will be fully illustrated online from Thursday 12th March. Online bidding is available via the-saleroom.com. For more information and to register your interest, please contact Bellmans Auctioneers directly on 01403 700858, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.