Leopold GOTTLIEB (1879-1933)
Portrait of Adolphe Basler.
Oil on canvas.
Signed upper left.
Located lower right.
Has an inscription on the back "Portrait of Mr Adolphe Basler".
111 x 111 cm.
Petits manques, restaurations et repeints.
Oil on canvas, signed lower right. 43.7 x 43.7 in.
French private collection.
Adolphe Basler (1878-1849):
Author, collector, art historian, critic and gallery owner, Basler belonged to the artistic milieu of Montparnasse at the beginning of the 20th century. Coming from a family of rabbis from Krakow, he arrived in Paris in 1898 and frequented the Parisian intellectual and literary milieu (Paul Fort and André Salmon) and painters (Modigliani and Pascin). He was introduced there by the Polish poet Mécislas Golberg. He soon opened a gallery where he exhibited Kisling among the first. In the 20's he directed in the Sèvres Gallery where Utrillo, Dufy and Coubine were exhibited. His writings on art are numerous (monographs on contemporary artists, African arts). He participates in aesthetic debates in magazines (Revue Blanche, Mercure de France and Die Aktion, Der Cicerone) and is recognized as an eminent art critic. His friendships with artists, his intellectual influence and his impressive physique have made him a model for many painters: Kisling (who made him a cubist portrait in 1914), Modigliani, Czobel and Grünewald.
The art of Léopold Gottlieb.
Arrived in France in 1899, he was one of the Poles from Montparnasse alongside the painters Hayden, Zak, Mela Muter and the sculptors Ostrowski and Nadelman. His art is marked by his experiences linked to the Avant-Garde (Group of Five from Krakow, the Viennese Secession in which he participated, Fauvism and Cubism at the Salon d'Automne in Paris where he exhibited between 1904 and 1934).
Our portrait of Basler, certainly painted around 1920, reflects these mixed influences. The seated figure possesses a constructive solidity to be matched with the assured psychology of the intellectual. The strong and discontinuous drawing comes from the German expressionists, while the bright green, yellow and brick-red colours are the result of a fauvism that is here somewhat muted.