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Constantine Kluge
Large Modernist Fauvist Oil Painting Constantin Kluge French Countryside Blooms

c.1960's

US$18,500

About

Constantine Kluge (French 1912-2003) Les Pommiers en Fleurs Oil on canvas of apple trees in bloom Hand signed lower right. Provenance: purchased from Wally Findlay Galleries. (bears their label verso) Dimensions Art: 35 1/4" H x 51 1/4" W; Frame: 38.5" H x 54.5" W. Constantin Kluge (1912–2003) was an award winning French Impressionist & Modern painter originally from Russia. Raised mostly in Manchuria and Beijing, China Kluge eventually settled in Paris and became a French citizen. He is known for his French landscapes and romantic scenes of Paris in a style reminiscent of Albert Marquet. Latvian-Russian born artist Constantin Kluge was born on January 29, 1912 in Riga, Latvia, then a large industrial port city in the Russian Empire. Kluge was born into a wealthy military family of some status. His paternal grandfather had spent years in France studying the cultivation of vines and wine making. Returning to Russia he developed a successful winery. Kluge's father, also Constantin, was a member of the Russian Army General Staff and a White Army sympathizer. Kluge's mother, Liouba Ignatieva, was an academic who also came from a military family. When his parents met, young Liouba was serving as tutor to the children of Russian Grand Duke Michael, the younger brother of Czar Nicholas II. The family moved often, following Constantin Sr.'s deployments with the counter rebellion armies. Each move seemed to take the family further and further east as the revolution spread and the White Sympathizers controlled a decreasing part of the country. Kluge settled in Paris in 1950 and soon thereafter found representation in a French gallery on Rue Saint-Honore. Kluge’s painting during his first decade in Paris was frequently based on street scenes and urban landmarks, but there are also paintings that suggest he was studying the work of Claude Monet and Vincent van Gogh. An undated work titled Golden Poplars is clearly based on Monet’s poplar series from the 1890s and Les pommiers from 1963 echoes van Gogh’s studies of apple trees from the 1880s. In 1964 he became a citizen of France. Kluge was married three times and had one child, Michel. His first wife and child's mother was Tania de Liphart. Kluge's second wife was Mary Starr (née Malcolm), the former wife of AIG Founder Neil Starr. In the winter of 1919-1920, the family traveled via train to Harbin, Manchuria. Living in Manchuria, Kluge first discovered an interest in art while learning Chinese. Kluge enjoyed beauty of drawing the characters of Mandarin and proper technique for holding the brush. Eventually, with the situation in Manchuria changing, the family moved to Beijing. At school in Beijing, Kluge was first introduced to formal art study, studying under the direction of the Russian artist Podgursky Chernomyrdin. Although he demonstrated real talent as an artist, he would pursue architecture in France. In Paris, Kluge earned admission into the École des Beaux Arts to study architecture and in 1937 he earned his diploma. His intention to had been to return to Beijing. However he was stymied by his to desire to paint the river banks, bridges, and streets of Paris he had come to love. He chose to spend six months painting Paris after graduating, after which he returned east to Shanghai, not Beijing. In Shanghai, the turn world events helped force Kluge to paint. As an aspiring architect, he took a job in the office that processed building permits for the Shanghai French Concession. However with the outbreak of the war, building nearly ceased as raw materials were being confiscated by the Japanese for their military. Kluge filled his time with painting. In 1946, with Mao Tse-tung was sweeping southward and foreigners were flooding out of Shanghai, Kluge moved to Hong Kong, continuing to work as an architect. However, Kluge still found himself hypnotized by painting. After showing some of his completed works to his friends, they convinced him to exhibit his works publicly. Thus, Kluge began to exhibit his paintings of Paris around China, to much success. Realizing that his hobby of painting, which he had never considered as a possibility as a career, could actually support him and his family, Kluge made the decision to pursue a career in art full time. in 1950, Kluge moved back to Paris, leaving China for good and resolving to become a professional painter. His background in architecture heavily informed his works, the Parisian buildings he paints being depicted with striking architectural and structural accuracy. In Paris just as in China, his street scenes were met with delight. In his very first salon, the Paris Salon in 1951, his paintings won awards and garnered a fair amount of attention. In the 1960s, Kluge's work caught the eye of American art dealer Wally Findlay, of Wally Findlay Galleries. Findlay began to represent Kluge, bringing his Parisian paintings to America and showing them in his galleries in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles. Along with Francois Gall, Michel Henry, Jules Rene Herve, Andre Gisson, Marcel Dyf, Dietz Edzard, Elisee Maclet, Yolande Ardissone, Gen Paul, Andre Hambourg, Jean Dufy, Gaston Sebire, Paul Augustin Aizpiri, Jacques Bouyssou, Le Pho, Henri Maik Hecht, he exemplified a Ecole de Paris sensibility in his work. Kluge continued to achieve great success in his artistic career, receiving several awards and honors, and showing his works across Europe and America. Kluge’s works are in the collections of the Musée d’Orsay and the Musée d’Art Moderne in Paris, among others. Major exhibitions 1951 - Salon de Paris 1961 - Salon des Artistes Francais 1961 - Wally Findlay Galleries: New York, Chicago, Los Angeles 1962 - Salon des Artistes Français 1992 - Musée Antoine Vivenel, Compiègne, France Awards 1961 - Silver Medal, Salon des Artistes Français 1961 - Salon des Artistes Francais, Taylor Foundation's Raymond Perreau Prize 1962 - Gold Medal, Salon des Artistes Français 1990 - Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur

Details

  • Creator
    Constantine Kluge (1912 - 2003, French, Russian)
  • Creation Year
    c.1960's
  • Dimensions
    Height: 38.5 in. (97.79 cm)Width: 54.5 in. (138.43 cm)
  • Medium
  • Movement & Style
  • Period
  • Condition
    good. frame has wear with some loss to gilding.
  • Gallery Location
    Bal Harbour, FL
  • Reference Number
    1stDibs: LU3828708502

Shipping & Returns

  • Shipping
    US$225 Standard Parcel Shipping
    to United States 0, arrives in 8-19 days.
    We recommend this shipping type based on item size, type and fragility.
    Ships From: Bal Harbour, FL
  • Return Policy

    A return for this item may be initiated within 3 days of delivery.

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