Femme au chapeau signed 'Marie Laurencin' (lower left) oil on canvas 16 1/8 x 13in. (41 x 33cm)
PROVENANCE Lord and Lady Joseph Duveen. Marguerite Fowles and Prince Darab-Mirza Kadjar, Paris (a gift from the above in 1938). By descent from the above to the present owner.
Daniel Marchesseau has kindly confirmed the authenticity of this painting and has included this work in his archive.
Creating an atmosphere of both pensive mystery and romantic verve, Marie Laurencin's portrait Femme au chapeau draws in the viewer with her underwritten contemplation of the present moment. The sitter's gaze, both demure and aloof, is delicately intensified by Laurencin's lively use of both black and blush. This poignant rendering of the female figure, in combination with its avant-garde painterly practice, creates a viewing experience that is both complex and quite sustaining.
Femme au chapeau's provenance includes one of the most influential art dealers of the past century Joseph Duveen of the Duveen Brothers, known for cultivating a new and booming art market for European Old Master works in America, particularly with the burgeoning American millionaire class. In 1912, Duveen's sister Florrie married the important Parisian art dealer Rene Gimpel, and from here the Duveen Brothers expanded their market into modern art.
In 1938, just one year before Duveen's death, Femme au chapeau was gifted to Marguerite Fowles and Prince Darab-Mirza Kadjar on the occasion of their wedding. Edward Fowles, Marguerite Fowles' father, would assume the presidency of Duveen Brothers one year later.