The Rolf de Maré Collection
Rolf de Maré (1888-1964), the creator and artistic director of the Ballets Suèdois, was introduced to the French art scene by his close friend, the artist Nils Dardel. Dardel was a personal friend of artists such as Fernand Léger and George Braque, and also with the art dealers Alfred Flechtheim and Wilhelm Udhe. Over the years, Rolf de Maré built a valuable collection of modern art, especially cubist works, with Dardel as his advisor and buyer. In 1950, Rolf de Maré donated Pablo Picasso’s Mandolin Player to Moderna Museet. In 1966, he bequeathed further works to the Museum, including Marie Laurencin’s Les Jeunes Filles (1912), which was the first work Dardel acquired on Maré’s behalf, followed by George Braque’s Still-Life with Fruit Bowl (1909) and Fernand Léger’s Staircase. The donation also included works by Rolf de Maré’s mother, Ellen Roosval (née von Hallwyl).
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The Rolf de Maré Collection
© Georges Braque/Bildupphovsrätt 2020
On View:Stockholm
Georges Braque
1882 - 1963
France La Roche-Guyon: le château, 1909
Slottet i La Roche-Guyon
The Castle at Roche-Guyon
Oil on canvas
Bildmått: 80 × 59,5 cm Ram: 95,5 × 74,5 × 6 cm
Donation 1966 enligt testamente från Rolf de Maré
NM 5985 On view at Stockholm
- About the work
Building up a picture from many geometric shapes… Braque spent the summer of 1909 in La Roche-Guyon; the landscape in the Seine valley a few miles west of Paris fascinated him.. In a letter to the art dealer Kahnweiler he wrote: "Delighted to be here. The landscape is really beautiful. I beg you not to reveal my address to anyone." This desire to paint and the self-chosen isolation paid off: eight paintings of the village were produced, five of them showing the medieval castle.
   Paul Cézanne, whom Braque admired immensely, had done some important paintings here 24 years earlier. Now, in the spirit of Cezanne, Braque produces this painting of the medieval castle that climbs up the slope of the mountain. But the painting goes further than Cézanne's in its simplification and is one of the earliest examples of what is usually called Facet Cubism: the parts of the landscape and the castle are organised both architectonically and geometrically, as if facetted.
   In its sophisticated use of colour, the painting offers a fascinating interaction between the emerald-green vegetation and the ochre-coloured architecture, but Braque will soon abandon this apparently realistic colour scale in favour of more abstract colouring, using various shades of black, white, grey and brown. We can perhaps see  The Chateau in Roche-Guyon as one of the artist's first Cubist masterpieces.
- Signature, inscriptions, and markings
- Exhibition history
- Exhibition catalogues
- Bibliography
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The Rolf de Maré Collection
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