BOUQUET OF FLOWERS

Francois Angiboult

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Signed in Latin l.r.; further signed, titled and inscribed with artist's address on label on the reverse oil on board. Frangois Angiboult is the pen name of the Russian female artist Baroness Helene d'Oettingen, born Elena Frantsevna Mionchinska. With her diverse talents of a writer (she worked under the pseudonym Roch Grey), a poet (under the pen name Leonard Pieux), an artist (Frangois Angiboult), and an art critic (she signed as Jean Cerusse), Helene d'Oettingen occupied a central place in the Parisian avant-garde movements of the early 20th century. She arrived in Paris from her native Ukraine around 1903, accompanied by her cousin, the artist Serge Jastrebzoff - Serge Ferat. D'Oettingen took painting lessons at the Academie Julian, which was also attended by Henri Matisse, Marcel Duchamp, Leon Bakst and many other great modernist painters. She regularly exhibited in the Salon des Independants and the Salon des Surindependants. In 1920, she presented her works at the Section d'Or, and in 1935 in the famous exhibition of Russian art in Prague. A lover of the Italian Futurist artist Ardengo Soffici during 1903 -1907, she became a close witness to the birth of the Futurist movement, and its theoretical ideas and imagery influenced her writing and painting. At the same time, d'Oettingen was closely associated with the 'ambassadors' of Cubism, Guillaume Apollinaire and Pablo Picasso. Together with Apollinaire and Ferat, Oettingen published the avant-garde journal Les Soirees de Paris and assured its wide distribution in Russia. The journal became one of the most important literary and artistic magazines published in France before World War I and an important vehicle for the international diffusion of Cubism. The offered lot is dominated by Cubo-futurist principles and oscillates between the favorite genre of the Cubists, the still-life, and that of the landscape, representing some sort of a mysterious flower garden, reminiscent of Rousseau's Neo-Primitivist exotic gardens with their deliberately flattened surfaces. Angiboult brings together the motifs of folk art with the visual elements evocative of the decorative arts. She surprises the viewer by the freedom of her style, the intensity of her colours, and inspiration, which she draws from both Russian peasant art and Cubism, breaking up the intensely colored surface of the painting into separate planes that meet at seemingly random angles.