Lot Details

A wonderful and important example of Marie Vassilieff's work, Still Life with Masks in a Window, showing the clear influence of a number of the avant garde artists in her circle, most notably Modigliani, the Cubist masters Braque and Picasso and the earlier Symbolist painter Odilon Redon. The work is gouache  over  pencil  on  cardboard  with  silver  paint. The composition is strong with deep and vivid colouration.

Vassilieff studied at the Academy of Arts in St. Petersburg, before she left her homeland, Russia and settled in France. On her arrival in Paris in 1905 she enrolled at Matisse's Academy where she became acquainted with many artists and writers who where considered to be the intellectual elite of Paris.

In 1909 she founded her own Académie Vassilieff, which became a popular rendezvous for the most progressive literary and artistic personages in the city. Braque, Picasso, Matisse, Modigliani, Salmon and Jacob were all habitués. Leger gave a series of lectures there in 1913.

During the years of the Great War, Vassilieff used her Académie as a base for a canteen, which she set up for all the academics and painters in Paris who found themselves in financial difficulties. Her extensive tours to Spain, Romania, Poland and Scandinavia were inspiration for many of her work. Marie Vassilieff was most successful during the period when Cubism reached its peak. In the late 1920's she held a one-man show in London, Italy and the Midi, where she then lived. In Paris she showed her work frequently at the Salon des Indépendants, Salon d'Automne and Salon d'es Tuileries. In 1979 her work was included in a Paris Moscow exhibition held at the Centre George Pompidou, Paris.

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The seller has recorded the following condition for this lot:
Are there any restorations?
Date: 1970/c
Area: Other area
Location: Other location
Notes: The paint surface has the artist's original unvarnished surface. There are some small areas of gloss where it appears that adhesive has been applied to consolidate some areas of the paint surface. There are some old areas of paint loss most notably around the four framing edges. These could be consolidated, filled and retouched. Inspection under ultra-violet show some areas of retouching, the most significant of which are: 1) a horizontal line of retouching measuring approximately 8 cm in length running from the hair of the mask on the left through the face and right eye of the mask on the right, 2) retouchings covering paint losses along the lower horizontal framing edge, 3) an area of retouching to the chin of the mask on the left, 4) two horizontal lines of retouching within the blue vase in the lower right of the composition, and 5) an area of retouching to the right of the left eye of the mask on the right. There are other scattered retouchings. Summary The painting therefore appears to be in reasonably good condition and would benefit from the localised consolidation, infilling and retouching of any areas of paint loss.
Degree: Minor
Surface Soiling
Specific Areas Yes
Date: Unavailable – contact Specialist for details
Area: Other area
Location: Other location
Notes: There is a small indentation to the board within the darker blue pigments in the upper part of the composition, and two minor indentations within the silver white pigments towards the upper part of the right vertical framing edge. There is a further very small hole within the pale green pigments towards the centre of the upper horizontal framing edge and a very minor indentation to the upper framing edge just above and to the right of this.
Degree: Minor

Definition Key
Image The central image area, composition, or focal point; the area inside the margins/plate marks.
Margin Areas bordering the central image, outside the plate marks, or the perimeter area.
Edge The farthest edge of the object.
Verso The reverse/back of the object.

Minor An existing condition which generally does not involve risk of loss.
Moderate Noticeable damage, increasing in severity and/or size; should be monitored or corrected by a conservator.
Major Distinct, recognizable damage; the stability of the work is questionable and risk is a factor. Requires the attention of a conservator.
Extreme Advanced and severe damage; work is insecure and at great risk.

  • Private Collection, London
  • Ships From: United Kingdom
  • Shipping Dimensions: 21 x 16.5 in. (53.34 x 41.91 cm.)
Accepted: Wire Transfer
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