Lelia Caetani (1913-1977)

Lelia Caetani (1913-1977)

Code: 4037


W: 71cm (28")H: 61cm (24")

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A very beautiful signed and dated 1936 impressionist oil on canvas by Lelia Caetani depicting the river Seine in Paris.

The artist is very interesting - please see biography below - she was an Italian Princess who was friends with Andre Derain and many other important Parisian artists. Her portrait, painted by Balthus, is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

This work has wonderful provenance having originally been sold on 1936 by Alex, Reid & Lefevre, Ltd, London -  the eminent dealers in French Impressionist and Modern art in the United Kingdom at that time. The gallery represented Picasso, Dali, Renoir, Cezanne and Degas, to name but a few of the artist's with whom they worked.

Signed and dated 1936 lower left and inscribed "La Seine" in the artist's hand on the reverse. Presented in a fine swept impressionist style painted frame.

Artist: Lelia Caetani (Italian/French, 1913-1977)
Title: La Seine
Medium: Oil on canvas
Size: 24 x 28 inches (61 x 71 cm) including the frame

Lelia Caetani was the last descendant of the Dukes of Sermoneta, one of the oldest and most powerful Roman families who gave birth to Pope Boniface VIII.

She was born in Paris where she lived for a long time and where her mother Marguerite, founder of the literary magazine Commerce (1924-1932) and animator in the French capital for an elite circle of artists, painters, writers, including; Claudel, Aragon, Breton, Ungaretti, Faulkner, Virginia Woolf, James Joyce, Paul Valéry, TS Eliot.

In this cosmopolitan context, Lelia refined her talent for painting thanks to her direct relationship with Balthus and Derain. It is worth mentioning that a portrait of her by Balthus is in the Metropolitan in New York. Muse of Derain, she is also appreciated by Vuillard for her ''true contribution to the pictorial world of his time" . And it was this great artist who wanted to present her first solo show in Paris in 1933, where she made a name for herself with her free style, perhaps more French than Italian: behind each of her paintings lies a story worth telling.

On the occasion of the Paris Biennale in 2016, the important galleries of Maurizio Nobile and Carlo Virgilio exhibited thirty-one newly discovered paintings by Lelia Caetani with views of Paris, London, New York, Venice, Rome and Ninfa, one of the most beautiful gardens in the world, located in the family castle in Sermoneta.