Lot # 080
Spring 2012 - 1st Session Live auction

Jean Paul Lemieux
CC QMG RCA 1904 - 1990 Canadian

Femmes en blanc
oil on canvas
signed and on verso titled, dated 1979 on the Roberts Gallery label and inscribed "9156H" on the stretcher
14 x 12 in  35.6 x 30.5cm

Provenance:
Roberts Gallery, Toronto
Private Collection, Toronto

Literature:
Guy Robert, Lemieux, 1975, page 224

The trio depicted in Femmes en blanc is open to interpretation. Jean Paul Lemieux’s nudes were mostly of children or young girls, but he occasionally depicted women semi-nude, as in this work, wearing skirts. There is no overt eroticism in this painting; rather these figures are virtuous and composed. However, there is a soft sensuality in the relaxed atmosphere, the pastel palette and the pliant brushwork. There is a certain familiarity implied among the group – the subject might depict a mother with a daughter or granddaughter, or perhaps a close set of friends. The two older women are adorned with necklaces, a favoured motif in Lemieux’s work. Guy Robert writes that, for Lemieux, the wearing of a necklace is not just vanity, but “becomes a refusal to submit to the ravages of time, an exorcism of the aging process and even the proclamation of a quality of being – a singular way to announce one’s person, beautifully and almost poetically.” Therefore, these necklaces function for Lemieux as symbols of beauty, ceremonial decoration and the passing of time.

Estimate: $25,000 ~ $35,000 CAD  
Sold for: $32,175 CAD (including Buyer's Premium)

All prices are in Canadian Dollars.

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