Maria Melania Mutermilch (1876 – 1967)

Maria Melania Mutermilch. Still life in Izvestia, 1918

Lot 40. Marie Mela MUTER (Franco-Polish, 1876-1967). Still life in Izvestia, 1918. Canvas. H. 75, W. 81 cm. Provenance: former collection of Eirik Labonne (1888-1971), French ambassador to the Spanish Republic in Barcelona (1937-1938). Exhibition: Barcelona, 1938, 1911 catalogue attached. Bibliography: “Mela Muter, Malarstwo Peinture”, catalogue works of the University Museum in Torun, 2010, to be compared with a still life with melons and grapes, p. 35. Franco-Polish painter Mela Muter was born in Warsaw in 1876. She moved to Paris in 1901 where she remained until her death in 1967. Wife of a socialist journalist, she attended various academies of painting. At the Grande Chaumière where Jules Pascin, Camille Claudel, Estève and Eileen Gray were students for a time, she perfected her art until the Chéron gallery hired her. Various exhibitions follow at the Salon d’automne, in Barcelona, Germany or the United States. Among her friends are Kees van Dongen, with whom she exhibits, and various personalities of the time such as Clemenceau, Ravel, Satie and the young poet Rilke, whose portraits she draws. Her women with children and still lifes with fruit bursting with light are particularly appreciated. The one we are presenting evokes Cézanne and Fauvism. The painter inscribes her composition between two countries, Parisian modernity and Russia discreetly present through the Cyrillic characters of a newspaper. The banality of this table is transcended by apples that become solar stars. Rainer Maria Rilke wrote: “If your daily newspaper seems poor to you, do not accuse it. Accuse yourself of not being a poet enough to call its riches to you. The painter and the poet lived a love affair, the beauty of its few fruits telling the same ideal. Estimate 20,000 – 30,000 euro. Roulliac. 12/05/20

Dobra passa prac Meli Muter. Niezwykły wręcz wysyp jej prac od października do grudnia. Aż strach myśleć co będzie w 2021 roku. Tym razem dwie martwe natury, jeden pejzaż i jeden portret. Warto popatrzeć na te dwie martwe natury ustawione na stołach. Najważniejsze ich elementy leżą na pomiętych gazetach. Pomięta gazeta jako element dekoracji malarskiej – temat na pracę magisterską. Pomyśleć, że niektórzy malarze bardzo precyzyjnie, czyściutko i nienagannie usawiają elementy tworzące podobne tematycznie prace a po wysiłku artystycznym trudno patrzeć na ich finalny produkt. Trochę mnie jednak martwi ta martwa natura z Izwiestią na stole bo gazeta ta nadawała sie jedynie za zawiniecia w nią zdechłego śledzia. Czyżby Mela Muter była w jakimś stopniu sympatyczką komunizmi? Wg starego dowcipu: nie ma PRAWDY w IZWIESTII i nie ma IZWIESTII, czyli wiadomości, w PRAWDZIE. Precz z komuną!

Ciekawy list nadszedł od czytelniczki z Kijowa na temat martwej natury z Izwiestią. Cytuję całość, podając inicjały czytelniczki zamiast imienia i nazwiska:

Dzielę się z Panem swoim przemyśleniem. Izwestia – to była jedyna gazeta w której co dziennie publikowano listę rozstrzelanych danego dnia w trakcie rewolucji. Rok się zgadza 1918. Rodziny, żony codziennie sprawdzały losy mężów, ojców… Po drugie, napis pod słowem Izwestia, jest również dojść czytelny :” Wielki spisek przedstawiciela Francji….” Czy w takim razie, ta martwa natura może mieć większy podtekst? To tylko przemyślenia, skąd taka gazeta pojawiła się na obrazie. 
Pozdrawiam OB
(11/18/20)

Maria Melania Mutermilch. Summer bouquet on a daily newspaper

Lot 2149. Muter (Mutermilch), Mela (Maria Melania) 1876 Warsaw – 1967 Paris. Recto. «Buchtlandschaft (bay landscape)». View of Villeneuve-lès-Avignon. 1940s. Oil on canvas. White shrinking cracks, isolated paint loss. H 49, W 63 cm. Verso. Summer bouquet on a daily newspaper. 1940s. Oil on canvas. Signed lower right and in the depiction lower right on a printed label of the Galerie Gmurzynska, Cologne, handwritten inscribed «M. Muter» and «66 x 51». H 63, W 49 cm.
During the cataloging process, the work was detached from its stretcher and the excess layer of paint on the back of the canvas was professionally removed. In the process, the flower still life came to light. The label of the Gmurzynska Gallery was left on the back. In the course of exposing the painting on the back, the front has been professionally cleaned and is newly varnished.
Another printed label of the Galerie Gmurzynska, Cologne, with the handwritten rather badly legible work’s data is on the detached stretcher. A separate printed label of the Galerie Bargera, Cologne, again on the stretcher, is handwritten dated, titled, numbered «No 39» as well as inscribed with the work’s and the artist’s data. Galerie Bargera is an alternative name of the Galerie Gmurzynska. Kenda Bargera and Antonina Gmurzynska jointly founded an art gallery in Cologne in 1964, from which the Galerie Gmurzynska, which still exists today, emerged. Mela Muter, who was born in Warsaw, enrolled at several private art schools after moving to Paris in 1901. But she soon lost interest in academic education and developed her style as an autodidact, which was inspired by her role models Vincent van Gogh and the painters of the Pont-Aven school. Perhaps because of her illustrious acquaintances in the Parisian intellectual circles, she soon gained an excellent reputation as a portrait and landscape painter and showed her works at numerous exhibitions in France and her home country. Due to her Jewish-Polish origin, she became a target of the National Socialists, who occupied France from 1940 onwards, which is why she swapped her life in Paris for a discreet retreat near Avignon. Like countless of her works, the present painting shows part of the papal city in the South of France, namely the view of the Tour Philippe-le-Bel and the Fort Saint-André in Villeneuve-lès-Avignon. The still life on the back shows colourful fireworks of typical summer flowers, such as daisies, garden cosmos and zinnias. The flowers are arranged in a yellowish spherical vase, which is placed on a daily newspaper that is draped in a sweeping manner. When she lived in Avignon, Mela Muter often painted both sides of a canvas, as her financial means for supplies were limited at that time. Authentication: We would like to thank Ms Urszula Lazwoski, Kingston, Massachusetts, for the authentication via E-Mail, based on photos, 14.09.2020. Provenance: private possession Wiesbaden. Literature: Galerie Gmurzynska, Mela Muter, Retrospektiv-Ausstellung, Cologne 1967, No. 13 (cf.). Reserve 8,000 euro. Kaupp. 11/20/20. Sold 35,000 euro

Maria Melania Mutermilch. View of Villeneuve-lès-Avignon
Maria Melania Mutermilch. Portrait of His Excellency Ambassador Eirik Labonne, 1938

Lot 39. Marie Mela MUTER (Franco-Polish, 1876-1967). Portrait of His Excellency Ambassador Eirik Labonne, 1938. Watercolour and pencil. H. 40.5 L. 38 cm. Provenance: former collection Eirik Labonne (1888-1971), French ambassador to the Spanish Republic in Barcelona (1937-1938). Estimate 800 – 1,200 euro. Roulliac. 12/05/20

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s