Aaron M. and Clara Weitzenhoffer
André Dunoyer de Segonzac (France, 1884–1974)
Still Life (Nature morte), n.d.
Watercolor on paper
18 ¼ x 15 ½ in.
Aaron M. and Clara Weitzenhoffer Bequest, 2000
This still life likely dates after the 1930s, during the years of André Dunoyer de Segonzac’s greatest acclaim. In the mid-twentieth century, Segonzac exhibited internationally and won numerous awards for his work. He frequently exhibited with both the Fauves and the Cubists in the early 1900s, yet his style, which borrows from sources as diverse as Gustave Courbet, Paul Cézanne, and Henri Matisse, does not fit comfortably into any category. In this still life, Segonzac uses simple contour drawing and washes of color to construct the forms of the blossoms and the glass and ceramic wares. He draws attention to the artifice of his watercolor through the floral decoration on the white vase, and insinuates that his representation is a decorative play of line and color not dissimilar from the embellishment on the vessel.
Segonzac began painting still lifes in the 1920s, especially after his purchase of a villa in Saint-Tropez in 1925. His naïve approach to form is the result, in part, of his lack of training. Although he studied in the Free Academy of Luc-Olivier Merson in the early 1900s, Segonzac was never formally admitted, and later he attended the Académie de la Palette briefly. He considered his studies largely irrelevant to his career and found recognition early, exhibiting at the Salon d’Automne in 1908 and the Salon des Indépendants in the following year.