Louis Marcoussis 1878-1941
T00244 Intérieur à la Contrebasse
(Interior with a Double-Bass) 1929
Inscribed 'Marcoussis 29' b.l.
Oil on canvas, 19 1/2 x 23 7/8 (49.5 x 60.5)
Bequeathed by E.C. Gregory 1959
Prov: With Galerie Jeanne Bucher, Paris (purchased from the artist); with Reid and Lefevre, London, 1930; Miss Jane Drew, London, c.1943; E.C. Gregory, London
Exh: The Cubist Spirit in its Time, London Gallery, London, March-May 1947 (54); 40 Years of Modern Art, ICA, Academy Hall, London, February-March 1948 (52); Seventeen Collectors, Tate Gallery, March-April 1952 (44); The Gregory Collection, ICA, London, July-August 1959 (20); Gregory Memorial Exhibition, Leeds City Art Gallery, March-April 1960 (17, repr.)
Lit: Jean Lafranchis, Marcoussis: sa Vie, son Oeuvre (Paris 1961), No. P.175, pp.136 repr. and 267 repr. as 'Intérieur à la Contrebasse'
Repr: Jean Cassou, Marcoussis (Paris 1930), p.51 as 'Intérieur'; Cahiers d'Art, 1930, p.19
The theme of an interior with a half-open door seen in conjunction with a musical instrument or other still-life objects occurs a number of times in Marcoussis' works of 1928-30. Here the principal object is a double-bass leaning against a small table; it is on the left, in the foreground, and a half-open doorway is on the right. Jean Lafranchis, who draws attention to Marcoussis' introduction at this period in certain of his works of a note of mystery akin to that of poems by his friends like Pierre Reverdy, writes of this work: 'Behind this door we see nothing, there is total darkness, darkness of such a presence
that it seems to burst out into the room behind the table'.
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, pp.485-6, reproduced p.485