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Lot 284. Mela MUTER (Maria Melania Mutermilch) (1876-1967). View of the Seine, ca. 1925-1930. Oil on panel, signed lower left “Muter”. H. 46 cm L. 55 cm. Provenance: Private French
Collection Views of large rivers, often with bridges or animated by ships, barges or boats engaged in river traffic, often appear in the work of Mela Muter. In Paris, as early as the 1920s, she depicts the Seine or the Canal Saint-Martin. Paintings such as Le Pont Saint-Michel, Paris, 1920; Les péniches sur le canal Saint-Martin, circa 1922, coll. Nawrocki; Pont Marie in Paris; Quais parisiens et péniches, circa 1925, coll. particulière are examples. Later, in Avignon, she had a predilection for the Rhône, majestic and imposing, and its swirling white water: Le pont d’Avignon, Pont sur le Rhône in Avignon, Les tourbillons sur Rhône, circa 1940-1945, coll. Nawrocki).
The painting “View of the Seine” presents a fragment of the river, bordered on one side by a quay animated by a single character and punctuated by a few trees. The painter concentrates on the boats that dock there. The other bank presents an architecture punctuated by high chimneys and pointed roofs. The artist is visibly attracted by an industrial urban landscape, as well as by a lively port universe. Of robust construction, the composition is punctuated by numerous black verticals made up of tree trunks, chimneys and crossed oblique masts. The painting is painted vigorously, with broad brushstrokes, with impasto, so as not to cover the entire surface evenly, a process typical of the artist’s style. The range of colours that she likes is very present: the blue combined in several shades, from emerald to purple and navy blue of the water, the coloured whites and greys of the boats, as well as the pinkish spots of the sky and buildings. A strong work that has a beautiful place in Mela Muter’s work. The work comes from a French private collection where it has been kept since the 1950s and 1960s. Mela Muter (Maria Melania Mutermilch) (1876 Warsaw – 1967 Paris) arrived in Paris in 1901. She had great success in the 1920s and 1930s and continued her career after the Second World War. Famous as a portraitist of the intellectual and artistic “tout-Paris”, she is known for her sumptuous still lifes and she is also much appreciated for her landscapes, painted in Brittany, in the South of France, around Avignon, as well as in Paris and its region. Expert consultants EBMC Bobrowska-Mielniczuk. Estimate 20,000 – 30,000 euro. DeBecques et Associes. 10/16/20