Natura morta, 1918
oil on board
60 x 82 cm
On the back, the painting bears the handwritten date Janvier 1918.
In the months preceding the armistice, Paris once again became a city in great turmoil. New large and small galleries are opening. The rue de la Boétie, which extends as far as Faubourg de Saint-Honoré, ideally becomes the center of the great galleries. L’Effort Moderne also begins an extraordinary activity. Fernand Léger returned well before the armistice, resuming working for Rosenberg.
The artists who report to his gallery are just over a dozen, including Juan Gris, Georges Braque, Pablo Picasso and Severini himself.
In the detail reproduced here, some elements of singular refinement can be seen: the golden profiles of the "Petit Beurre" box, the reference to the handwriting of the advertising inserts of the time, the refinement of the shaded shadows, the dripping in relief that defines the overlapping marble tops , the memory of futurist pointillism, the skilful balance of color combinations.
The painting, formerly owned by Alfonso Orombelli, a well-known Milanese collector, is part of the selection of works chosen for the personal room at the 25th Venice Biennale in 1950. 32 paintings are exhibited for the occasion, including two still lifes from 1919. owned by Henry and Mary Duckett. The painting appears in 1957 in the great Italian art exhibition organized by the Rome Quadriennale at the Haus der Kunst in Munich, then in the artist's rich anthology in Palazzo Venezia in Rome in 1961.