André Dunoyer de Segonzac

Nude with a Newspaper


Not on display

André Dunoyer de Segonzac 1884–1974
Original title
Nu au journal
Oil paint on canvas
Support: 924 × 600 mm
Bequeathed by Frank Hindley Smith 1940

Display caption

This one of a series of preparatory studies for a larger painting entitled 'The Bathers'. The theme of a nude seen in foreshortening and with a newspaper over the face clearly intrigued the artist as he later made a number of figures in similar poses. The presence of the newspaper obscuring the model's face allows attention to focus on the artist's attempts to render the three-dimensional reality of the figure's body, seen here from an angle which denies much spatial recession. His attempt to unify figure and ground through both composition and the textural qualities of the paint is a distinguishing characteristic of Dunoyer de Segonzac's modern realism.

Gallery label, September 2004

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Catalogue entry

André Dunoyer de Segonzac 1884-1974

N05070 Nu au Journal (Nude with a Newspaper) 1921

Inscribed 'A.D. de Segonzac' b.l.
Oil on canvas, 36 3/8 x 23 5/8 (92 x 60)
Bequeathed by Frank Hindley Smith 1940
Prov: Frank Hindley Smith, Southport (purchased from the artist through the Independent Gallery, London, 1923)
Exh: Paintings, Drawings and Etchings by André Dunoyer de Segonzac, Independent Gallery, London, October 1923 (14); Dunoyer de Segonzac, Independent Gallery, London, June 1927 (23)
Lit: Paul Jamot, Dunoyer de Segonzac (Paris 1929), pp.190-2, 232 (as a study for 'Les Baigneurs' and dated 1921); Paul Jamot, Dunoyer de Segonzac (Paris 1941), pp.154, 180 (as a study for 'Les Baigneuses')

The artist wrote (12 August 1955) that this picture was painted at Chaville, in the greenhouse in the garden, which he used at that time as a studio. Later he added (20 March 1970): 'The painting of the "Nu au Journal" belongs to a series of preparatory studies for the painting "Les Baigneurs" which is exhibited at the Musée d'Art Moderne in Paris, in the room which I occupy. It is the preparation for the lying figure which one sees in the right foreground of the big picture. This painting owned by the Tate Gallery is one of the first that I painted at Chaville on this theme. I think that the date 1921 given by Paul Jamot is probable. I afterwards painted other nudes in the same pose.' A similar figure appears both in 'Les Baigneurs' and 'Les Baigneuses', both of which were exhibited at the Salon d'Automne of 1922, but in these the woman lies rather differently with her hips to the right and the legs inclined to the left. There is another painting of her alone which is more directly related to the large pictures and would appear to represent an intermediate stage (repr. C. Roger-Marx, André Dunoyer de Segonzac, Paris 1925, pl.9).

The theme of the nude seen in foreshortening with a newspaper over her face evidently interested him very much as he also used it for an etching (Aimée Loiré and Pierre Cailler, Catalogue de l'Oeuvre gravé de Dunoyer de Segonzac, Geneva 1958, Vol.1, No.135, as made in 1924) and for at least two drawings of 1923 and 1924 which show the nude lying on a couch instead of in the open air.

Published in:
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, p.197, reproduced p.197

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