'The Fete' signed and dated 'Irma Stern / 1965' (lower right); bears gallery label to stretcher (verso) oil on canvas 72 x 90.5cm (28 3/8 x 35 5/8in).
PROVENANCE: Acquired from the Grosvenor Gallery exhibition by the current owner
EXHIBITED: London, Grosvenor Gallery, Irma Stern Memorial Exhibition, 14 March - 15 April 1967, no.67
In January 1965 Irma Stern returned to Europe for what would be her last trip there. Dudley Welch accompanied her. They spent time in Paris, where Stern held a successful exhibition at Galerie André Weil before travelling to the French Riviera. Her health had begun to fail in recent years, but upon reaching the South of France, she found herself able to relax and work again.
"I am feeling much better and am going out more. St Tropez Gallery is only open in July but I came home to paint the place the next day and it is a strong very colourful painting. I have done two others since and hope after a short break to work tomorrow again."
The Fete is a brilliant example of Stern's late style, characterised by freer lines, less impasto, lighter brushstrokes and brighter, bolder swathes of colour.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: M. Berman, Remembering Irma, Irma Stern: A memoir with letters, (Cape Town, 2003), p.148