Othon Friesz

French painter, 1879-1949

Friesz was a French artist of the Fauvist movement. During the last thirty years of his life, he painted in a style completely removed from that of his earlier colleagues and his contemporaries. Having abandoned the lively arabesques and brilliant colors of his Fauve years, Friesz returned to the more sober palette he had learned in Le Havre from his professor Charles Lhuillier and to an early admiration for Poussin, Chardin, and Corot. He painted in a manner that respected Cézanne’s ideas of logical composition, simple tonality, solidity of volume, and distinct separation of planes.

Source: Wikipedia

Friesz, Othon

French painter (1879-1949). Autograph letter signed. [Paris]. 06.02.1919. Oblong 4to. 1 p.
$ 1,610 / 1.500 € (49689/BN34159)

To the art critic Louis Vauxcelles, asking him to use his influence with the minister of public instruction Léon Bérard in support of a possible award of the legion of honour to Friesz. The ultimate decision was with prime minister and minister of war Georges Clemenceau, as Friesz had been suggested for the award by the "aeronautics department" for his services in the "creation of the army museum at Trocadéro". However, Bérard was close with Clemenceau's right-hand general Henri Mordacq who had great influence on Clemenceau.

The letter in full: "Êtes-vous toujours bien avec monsieur Léon Bérard? Une demande de croix a été faite pour moi émanant de la direction de l’aéronautique pour récompenser mes services et particulièrement de la création du musée de l’armée au Trocadéro. Et déposée directement au cabinet du ministre de la guerre. Quant à moi je pense que c’est surtout mon passé d’art que vous connaissez mieux que moi-même qui m’autorise l’audace d’accepter cette distinction, si on veut bien m’en honorer. Je vous chargerai donc d’en toucher un mot à monsieur Léon Bérard que j’avais je crois autrefois réussi à intéresser au Salon d’automne pour que de sa haute influence il veuille bien me patronner auprès du général Mordac au cabinet du ministre. Je m’excuse de ce service, mais sachant que j’aurai l’occasion de vous prouver ma gratitude [...]". - Minimal stains..

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Friesz, Othon

Original ink sketch of his father on his deathbed on an off-white 8.25 x 8.25 sheet.
Autograph ist nicht mehr verfügbar

Touching portrait of his father on his deathbed. Inscribed by Friesz below: „Ne t’émotienne pas de ce rapide croquis – dans mon sentiment d’artiste j’ai voulu que vous sachiez comment le père dort sereinement son dernier sommeil“.