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Dora Maar (France, 1907-1997) expressionist oil on canvas landscape painting depicting a willow tree on a hill beneath an overcast sky. Signed "Dora Maar" lower left. Old gallery label en verso for Ernest Brown and Phillips, Ltd. London. Housed in a distressed painted and parcel gilt wood frame. Sight: 19" H x 23 1/2" W. Framed: 24 3/4" H x 29 3/8" W. Biography: French photographer and Surrealist artist Dora Maar's career and work were overshadowed during her lifetime by her affair with Pablo Picasso, but in later years they began to be appreciated on their own merits. She was born Henrietta Theodora Markovitch (Markovic)and spent her childhood in Buenos Aires, where her father worked as an architect. She returned to Paris in 1926 and studied art at the Union Centrale des Arts Decoratifs, the Ecole de Photographie, the Academie Julian, and the atelier of Andre Lhote. In the early 1930s she began to pursue a career in photography and adopted the professional name Dora Maar. She served as a still photographer on the set for Jean Renoir's film Le Crime de Monsieur Lange (1936). By 1935 Maar was associated with the Surrealist circle and had strong ties to Andre Breton, Paul Eluard, and Georges Bataille. She photographed many of the Surrealists and exhibited with them. Her work began to take on more of the absurdist and dreamlike qualities characteristic of Surrealism. Portrait of Ubu (1936; also called Pere Ubu), a monstrous close-up image by Maar of what may be an armadillo fetus (she would never confirm), became an icon of the movement. Maar and Picasso began a love affair in 1936. Picasso painted Maar numerous times (e.g., Dora Maar Seated ; Weeping Woman ; Weeping Woman in a Red Hat ; Woman Seated in a Garden ; Dora Maar in an Armchair ). They separated completely in 1946, and although Maar continued to create art, she did not exhibit for nearly 25 years. She struggled with mental health and became a recluse. Over the years, as her main source of income, she sold what she owned that had been made by Picasso. Her work was reintroduced in 1990 with "Dora Maar: Oeuvres Anciennes," an exhibition of her photographs and paintings at Marcel Fleiss's Galerie 1900-2000 in Paris. A major exhibition followed in 1995 in Valencia, Spain. After her death in 1997, the contents of her homes in Paris and in Menerbes (France), which among other things included her own works and those by Picasso, were auctioned off. Since Maar's death, her work has been included in numerous group exhibitions, and it has been the subject of solo exhibitions and new scholarship. In 2006 her home (the Dora Maar House) in Menerbes opened as a retreat for writers, scholars, and artists in a program administered by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. (source: Naomi Blumberg, "Dora Maar". Encyclopedia Britannica, 18 Nov. 2021, https://www.britannica.com/biography/Dora-Maar).
PROVENANCE: The Estate of Carl Klein, Brentwood, Tennessee.
CONDITION: Overall very good condition. Frame with wear and areas of loss, largest 3", to gilt.