I wish I could ask woman Lucienne Simon what led her to paint this extraordinary spiralling cubist cityscape. We see bridges and viaducts, a factory, a church with an impressive spire - and two female figures overlooking the scene from what appears to be a plateau.
Born 19 October 1905, in Paris, Lucienne Simon studied at a private school of decorative art in Paris in the 1920s. She was given a commission for twelve portraits by French milliners, which sound like great fun. She also held solo exhibitions of portraits and landscapes in Paris.
Our oil on canvas dates from circa 1940. The work is easy to date as Lucienne only added "Taugourdeau" - presumably her married name - to her signature in 1938. On the stretcher bars, her name is stil "Mademoiselle Simon".
The materials used are of its time: notably, it can be observed one of the wooden stretcher bars is warped, which creates a gap between the original frame and painting. You will forgive this quirk: it gives evidence of a troubled period in history, when things were even harder than they are now, and is part the artworks personality.
Measuring 54 x 65 cm for the canvas alone, the overall size in a late art deco frame with light wear and repair is 63 x 75.
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