Skip to main content
  • Want more images or videos?
    Request additional images or videos from the seller
1 of 3

Joseph Ramanankamonjy
Petite Fille

US$5,000

About

Signed and inscribed, lower center: Joseph / Ramanankamonjy / Madagascar / Petite fille / “aquarelle sur soie” Provenance: Private Collection, Paris Private Collection, Florida Sometimes one comes across an artist almost completely divorced from the mainstream of critical attention, but whose work reveals a quality and interest that demands appreciation. Such a figure is Joseph Ramanankamonjy, a painter locally revered in his native Madagascar, but virtually unknown outside of it. The subjects of Ramanankamonjy’s works were exclusively drawn from his homeland—landscapes, dwellings, scenes of everyday life, and portrait drawings, of which the present works are particularly fine examples. But while he was educated in Madagascar—training with local artists, then attending the School of Fine Arts at Andafiavaratra Palace in the capital city of Antananarivo (Tananarive)—he exhibited frequently in France, first showing his work in Paris in 1928 and later in 1948, 1949, and 1959. In 1931 he was part of the Malagasy Delegation to the Exposition Coloniale Internationale held in the Bois de Vincennes in Paris. This massive exhibition, controversial in its day, attempted to extoll the beneficent aspects of colonialism, particularly among French possessions, of which Madagascar was one from 1897 until its independence in 1960. By the time of the Colonial Exhibition, Ramanankamonjy had developed his signature mode of portraiture, painting intense images on small pieces of silk. One of these, now in the Musée du Quai Branly in Paris, is dated 1930 (Fig. 1). It depicts a young Malagasy woman—her face, hair, and pendant earrings meticulously delineated—while the balance of her body is only summarily indicated. She is designated as a Hova, the free commoner caste of the Merina people, the largest ethnic group in Madagascar. Our works are undated but clearly somewhat later in date given their more sophisticated modelling and focus on the subject. In Petite Fille Ramanankamonjy has introduced a more varied palette, rendering the tonalities of the girl’s face in a succession of fine brushstrokes ranging from yellows to browns to blues, while giving great attention to her hair, articulated with variations in grays. A detail photograph gives some indication of the remarkable technique employed by the artist (Fig. 2). Un Enfant, executed in sanguine, dwells on the soft forms of the child’s face, revealed by lambent light from above. The young girl’s hair is depicted with equal care, with special emphasis given to the braids—proud hallmarks of Malagasy culture. There is a directness and honesty in the artist’s portraits—most of which are of children—which, while veering towards the sentimental, maintain the integrity and dignity of the sitters. A review of the artist’s 1949 exhibition at L’Agence des Colonies in Paris stressed the humanity and sympathy with which Ramanankamonjy approached his subjects, the finesse of his technique, and the uniqueness of his watercolor-on-silk medium (Fig. 3). Besides exhibitions in France, Ramanankamonjy showed his work on the Indian Ocean islands of Mauritius and Réunion. Otherwise he worked and exhibited exclusively in Madagascar (Fig. 4). He received numerous honors and awards in his homeland, becoming the first artist member of the Malagasy Academy, leading to his induction into the French Legion d’honneur, first as a Chevalier in 1950, then as Officier in 1960. He was the subject of retrospective exhibitions in Antanarivo, most recently in 2014, the thirtieth anniversary of his death. Nonetheless, other than locally, he remains largely an unknown figure.

Details

  • Creator
    Joseph Ramanankamonjy
  • Dimensions
    Height: 10 in. (25.4 cm)Width: 8 in. (20.32 cm)
  • Medium
  • Movement & Style
  • Period
  • Condition
  • Gallery Location
    New York, NY
  • Reference Number
    1stDibs: LU1027006532

Shipping & Returns

  • Shipping
    US$20 Standard Parcel Shipping
    to United States 0, arrives in 6-11 days.
    We recommend this shipping type based on item size, type and fragility.
    Ships From: New York, NY
  • Return Policy

    This item cannot be returned.

1stDibs Buyer Protection Guaranteed
If your item arrives not as described, we’ll work with you and the seller to make it right. Learn more
About the Seller
5 / 5
Located in New York, NY
Recognized Seller
These prestigious sellers are industry leaders and represent the highest echelon for item quality and design.
Established in 1997
1stDibs seller since 2012
14 sales on 1stDibs
More From This Seller
  • Located in New York, NY
    Signed and inscribed, lower center: Joseph / Ramanankamonjy / un enfant / Madagascar / “sanguine sur soie” Prov...
    Category

    20th Century Modern Figurative Drawings and Watercolors

    Materials

    Silk, Watercolor

  • Located in New York, NY
    Signed and inscribed on a label on the verso: No. 1/ The Argument/ W. Cave Thomas/ 203 Camden Rd/ NW Provenance...
    Category

    19th Century Pre-Raphaelite Portrait Drawings and Watercolors

    Materials

    Paper, Watercolor, Pencil

  • Located in New York, NY
    Watermark: the arms of Amsterdam Provenance: Christie’s, Amsterdam, 1 December 1986, lot 46; where acquired b...
    Category

    17th Century Baroque Portrait Drawings and Watercolors

    Materials

    Paper, Chalk

  • By Bernardino Lanino
    Located in New York, NY
    Provenance: Duke Vittorio Amadeo I (d. 1637), Turin; by descent in the Library of the Dukes of Savoy Antonio Ab...
    Category

    16th Century Old Masters Portrait Drawings and Watercolors

    Materials

    Paper, Chalk

  • Located in New York, NY
    Signed, lower right: Wm Bouguereau Provenance: with Galerie Percier, Paris with Galerie Drouant-David, Paris ...
    Category

    19th Century Old Masters Portrait Drawings and Watercolors

    Materials

    Pastel, Board

  • Located in New York, NY
    Pen, black ink, wash, and white heightening on blue paper Provenance: with F. R. Meatyard, London, around 192...
    Category

    18th Century Old Masters Portrait Drawings and Watercolors

    Materials

    Paper, Ink, Pen

You May Also Like

"Lilian"
By Gershon Benjamin
Located in Lambertville, NJ
Jim’s of Lambertville is proud to offer this artwork by: Gershon Benjamin (1899-1985) An American Modernist of portraits, landscapes, still lives, and the urban scene, Gershon Benj...
Category

1920s Modern Figurative Drawings and Watercolors

Materials

Watercolor

ART
By Wes Olmsted
Located in Buffalo, NY
An original watercolor painting by Westley "Wes" Olmsted. This work is currently featured in the exhibition Man of Extremes at Benjaman Gallery in Buffalo, NY. Westley G. Olmsted ...
Category

1970s Modern Figurative Drawings and Watercolors

Materials

Paper, Watercolor

Rare Large Original British Illustration Art Watercolor Painting "Horse Races"
By Sue Macartney Snape
Located in Bal Harbour, FL
Sue Macartney-Snape Watercolor painting (with highlights of gold metallic paint) titled on label "Goodwood Races" Signed with initials verso. Info on label verso Dimensions: H 38.75...
Category

1980s Modern Figurative Drawings and Watercolors

Materials

Watercolor

"Persuasion" Illustration of Children, Gouache on Paper, Circa 1950s
By Clyde Follett Seavey
Located in San Francisco, CA
This mid 20th century gouache on paper painting entitled "Persuasion" is by San Francisco artist Clyde Follett Seavey (1920-1991). Seavey studied at UC Berkeley and California Colleg...
Category

1940s American Modern Portrait Drawings and Watercolors

Materials

Paper, Gouache

1950's "Sun Sand Sea" Lord and Taylor Modernist Summer Beach Portrait in Gouache
By Calvin Anderson
Located in San Francisco, CA
This 1950 to 1960's Lord and Taylor gouache on paper portrait of two beach goers in bathing suits with a volleyball, entitled "Sun Sand Sea" is by Bay Area painter, printmaker, and d...
Category

1950s American Modern Figurative Drawings and Watercolors

Materials

Paper, Gouache

Mid Century Fashion Illustration in Gouache, Circa 1950
By Marjorie Ullberg
Located in San Francisco, CA
This late 1940s- early 1950s watercolor on paper illustration of a two women in pink and green suits is by illustrator Marjory Ullberg. Ullberg worked for H. Liebes and Neiman Marcus...
Category

1950s American Modern Figurative Drawings and Watercolors

Materials

Gouache, Board

Monochromatic Portrait Abstracted By Color Mid Century Graphite & Watercolor
By Martin Snipper
Located in San Francisco, CA
This mid 20th century ink on paper abstracted portrait is by Expressionist painter, mixed media artist, and sculptor Martin Snipper (1914-2008). He studied at the National Academy of...
Category

Mid-20th Century American Modern Figurative Drawings and Watercolors

Materials

Paper, Graphite, Watercolor

Woman in White Suit, Mid Century Fashion Illustration, Circa 1950
By Marjorie Ullberg
Located in San Francisco, CA
This late 1940s- early 1950s ink on paper illustration of a woman in a white suit with an umbrella is by illustrator Marjory Ullberg. Ullberg worked for H. Liebes and Neiman Marcus d...
Category

1950s American Modern Figurative Drawings and Watercolors

Materials

Ink, Paper, Watercolor

The 1stDibs Promise

Learn More

Expertly Vetted Sellers

Confidence at Checkout

Price-Match Guarantee

Exceptional Support

Buyer Protection

Insured Global Delivery