An art deco period Provence landscape with olive trees and farm land by Franco Russian woman artist Ivanna Lematre (ca 1885-1973).The light in the picture, so pure and white, is extraordinary. You can almost feel the fresh and scented morning air.
According to art historical literature, Ivanna was a Russian aristocrat, born in Saint Petersburg in 1893, who came to France as a result of the Russian Civil War, in 1917. But this is quite wrong. I believe: she was born a few years earlier and came to Paris during the first revolution of 1905, fleeing the anti-jewish pogroms. Her maiden name was Ivanna Kolischer: she married Andr-Hubert Lematre (1886-1966) an architect and fellow artist, and they had their first child, Edvine, in Paris in 1910.
Andr-Hubert and Ivanna were quite the power couple: together, for example, they painted the frescos of of of the most important rooms of the International Colonial Exhibition: the reception rooms of Marshal Lyautey, the General Commissioner, in the Porte Dore building. Ivanna also painted portraits of her artist and literary friends such as Jean Cocteau, Andr Gide, and Serge Lifar of the Ballets Russes.
Ivanna left Paris during Occupation, and moved to the Cote dAzur. She probably divorced from her husband at that time. In the South of France, she continued to paint, exhibit internationally in Rome, New York and Monte Carlo, and work on commissions for public spaces.
Ivannas work can be found in the Guggenheim in Venice, yet surprisingly few paintings by Ivanna surface. Here is a wonderful example of her work from the 1920s or 30s. An oil on paper laid on to canvas, the painting measures 38 x 55 cm. The overall framed size in the original art deco frame with some losses to the gilding is 52 x 68 cm.
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