This work is a study produced by Georges Braque for the Oiseaux en vol (Birds in Flight) and Les trois oiseaux en vol (Three Birds in Flight) lithographs, printed on Marcel Durassier's presses and published by Maeght in 1961. Unlike many artists who, for their lithographic work, drew directly onto the stone using lithograph pencils, feathers or brushes with lithographic ink they could spread like a wash, Georges Braque transferred a drawing onto the stone that had been produced beforehand on tracing paper, or « transfer paper ».
Having worked for nearly 40 years at the Mourlot Printing Press, renowned Master Printer, Marcel Durassier, became director of the Maeght printing and lithography studio in Levallois-Perret. Durassier gave this study by Georges Braque to Yvonne Desseux-Fayolle as a souvenir of their shared friendship with the artist. A large part of Braque's lithographic work was printed by Marcel Durassier, notably (Teapot and Lemons), produced in 1949.
When Aimé Maeght opened his gallery in Paris in 1946, he entrusted running the bookshop to Yvonne Desseux-Fayolle. In a work published in 1988, she recalls meeting Bonnard, Matisse, Braque, Miro, Calder, Chagall and Picasso (Yvonne Desseux, À l'écoute de l'Art Moderne, (Listening to Modern Art) Michèle Trinckvel, Paris).
Theme of birds :
After the war, new-found peace and freedom were expressed by the artist as variations on a bird theme : its flight, freedom, play with gravity and space, its migration. From 1953 on, Braque multiplied his bird references. The artist went to observe a bird reserve in the Camargue, and admired the flight of the flamingo : I saw large birds fly past. From this vision I drew aerial forms. The birds inspired me (…) The very concept, after the shock of inspiration, made them take flight in my mind, this concept has to fade so that I can get closer to what really concerns me : constructing a pictorial fact. » Constructing this pictorial fact lead him to stylise, then work in solids by simplifying the shapes to the extreme. His most famous paintings are also his most poetic : the bird series, two of which have decorated the ceiling of the Henri II room in the Louvre since 1953. The bird theme is extremely present in the artist's engraved work.
Marcel Durassier, Paris
Private Collection, acquired from the latter in 1995
The authenticity and provenance of this work have been confirmed by Marcel Durassier to the current owner.