Dingo the Dissident

THE BLOG OF DISQUIET : Qweir Notions in the Armpit of Diogenes by DINGO the DISSIDENT binge-thinker here since 2008.

Friday, 18 August 2023

Valentine Prax

(1897-1981) was the Algerian-born wife (of Catalan-Sardinian extraction) to the Belarussian sculptor Yossip Zadkine.  They married in 1920 at Bruniquel, a beautiful village in the lower Averyon Gorges, now famous for its Magdalenian cave and Neanderthal remains on the other side of the river.  Bruniquel has an impressive 12th century castle (largely intact) and various sculptural details such as this fine spout.

from www.beyond-the-pale.org.uk/zxBruniquel.htm

They then went to live at Caylus, about 20 km north.
In Caylus, Zadkine carved his massive Crucifixion
of the naked Christfrom a single chunk of elm,
which was placed in Caylus' 12th-13th century church in 1954.

(It is very difficult to photograph, and should be seen in situ.)

The couple then moved farther north, and on to Paris
where he was a friend of Henry Miller in Montparnasse
and was represented by the character Borowski
in Miller's Tropic of Cancer (1934).  During WW II
they lived in Manhattan.

Valentine, of course, is under-appreciated.
Though some of her paintings are, frankly, not very good,
others are very fine indeed.

Here is a selection.

(I apologise for the imperfect arrangement. Google Blogger uses extremely old and clunky technology of around 2004, and it is extremely difficult to arrange photos as one would wish.)

Un dimanche sur la terrasse.


L'atelier du menuisier.
(The joiner's workshop.)

L'ivrogne (The Drunkard).

The Drunkard, other way up.


Portrait of an unnamed woman.

The basket of fish.

This last, superb, picture was sold for a mere 3,250 € a Christies in 2017.
I could just have bought it with my savings at 3,500 €,
and treasured it for the rest of my life.

In her Montparnasse studio.

No comments: