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'Ballet Dancers at the Opera de Paris' by Yves Brayer (circa 1940s)

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SKU 0542

'Ballet Dancers at the Opera de Paris', watercolour on fine paper, by Yves Brayer (circa 1940s). While a costume and set-designer at the Opera in Paris in the 1940s, Brayer was fascinated by the dancers with whom he came into contact on a daily basis. He couldn't help but paint a chosen few of them - some in watercolour and others in oil. This work is rare indeed as a subject for Brayer however, it is interesting as a choice as it depicts the less glamorous, behind-the-scene realities of being a professional ballet dancer. His most common artworks are Provencal landscapes. There are three dancers in this piece standing or sitting near the barre - one of whom seems to be getting encouragement from the other two after a very long session of gruelling rehearsals. The barre supports dancers during their rehearsals and it is here also that these dancers are supporting their discouraged colleague. In good vintage condition. Framed and glazed. The water-gilded frame has evident but characterful nicks and chips - please see accompanying photos. Signed: 'Yves Brayer' in the lower lefthand corner. Upon request a video of the piece will be provided.

About the Artist: Yves Brayer (1907 - 1990) stands among the most celebrated modern French painters. Although he was faithful to the figurative tradition, his ample métier was enriched by his personal vision. His oeuvre proved to be very diverse, for besides his well-known landscapes, he also painted vast canvases, portraits and still lifes. A lover of Mediterranean landscapes, Yves Brayer sojourned in Morocco, Spain and Italy before settling down in Provence. There he was enchanted by the diverse and architectural forms of the Alpilles mountains, and by the vast expanse of the Camargue region with its ubiquitous white horses and black bulls. From then on he spent several months each year working in Provence. He also travelled internationally where he was quick to grasp the unique rhythm and light of each country.

When he was in Paris in 1942, Jacques Rouché appointed Brayer costume-and-set designer for a ballet at the Opera de Paris. 

Brayer passed away in Paris in 1990. A large collection of his paintings are on permanent display both at the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Cordes, France and at the Musée Yves Brayer in Les Baux de Provence, as well as many regional museums in his home country. In the United States, Yves Brayer's works form part of the collection of New York's Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art, among others. 

Dimensions with frame:

H 59 cm / 23.2"

W 51.5 cm / 20.3"

Dimensions without frame:

H 31.5 cm / 12.4"

W 23.5 / 9.3"