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Edy Legrand (France 1892‑1970)

”Mulets a Telouet” – No 5

To be sold at Uppsala Auktionskammare’s Important Sale: Modern & Contemporary 18-19 November 2020

Lot 550 Edouard-Léon-Louis (Edy) Legrand (France 1892‑1970) ”Mulets a Telouet” – No 5. Signed Edy Legrand lower left. Oil on canvas, 98 x 130 cm.

The authenticity of this lot has kindly been confirmed by Mrs Cécile Ritzenthaler and
Mr Jean Pierre Chalon. A photo certificate issued by Mrs Cécile Ritzenthaler is included with this lot.


200.000 – 300.000 SEK
€ 19.000 – 29.000

In context

Edy Legrand – embracing the Moroccan life and culture

The French illustrator and painter Edy Legrand was born in Bordeaux on July 24th in the year of 1892 to a French mother and Russian-Jewish father.  He initially attended the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris and thereafter continued his artistic studies in Munich at the Akademi eder Bilden Künste where he studied under Ludwig von Gerterig, one of the leading representatives of the Munich School of Art. In the beginning of his career Legrand was engaged as an advertising illustrator, primarily working for the Tolmer et Cie publishing house in Paris. As a young artist, in the year of 1919, Legrand illustrated the children’s book ”Macao et Cosmage ou l’expérience du bonheur” published by the Nouvelle Revue Français, of which he achieved great appreciation. This book is today regarded as a milestone in the history of illustrated books for children.

In the year of 1932, Legrand was commissioned to represent France during the first World Exhibition of engraved works that was held at the Art Institute of Chicago. Alongside other exhibited artists such as Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse and André Derain, Edy Legrand was the only one at the exhibition to receive an honourable mention.  As a result of this Legrand started to travel extensively throughout Europe and North Africa and now the second part of his career, the one as a painter, saw the daylight. Legrand spent several longer periods in Morocco where he was highly influenced by the culture and the everyday life surrounding him. He found a great inspiration in the strong colours and the spectre of light with its reflecting sunbeams, which he transformed onto his canvases. The love for Morocco eventually made him settle in Rabat and he developed a personal style infatuated by the ambiance of the culture. Legrand found a great friend in the famous orientalist painter Jacques Majorelle, who has written the following about Legrand:

”In Morocco, Edy Legrand is fascinated by the elements of life that he discovered in the unceasing movement of crowds, and the vibration of colour by the play of light on the costumes and decor. The show is so totally pictorial he complains, at first, to be obliged to fight against the temptation to faithfully reproduce external reality […] The more he painted, the more clearly he affirms its independence vis-à-vis the spectacle of nature. He loves above all to recreate the thrill of the material by the infinite combinations of coloured masses”.

In the painting ”Mulets a Telouet” Edy Legrand expresses a typical Moroccan scenery. Finding his inspiration in the bright colours and striking light effects created by the sun, this vivid composition offers a characteristic motif of the genuine berber life captured in the High Atlas. The resting mulets with their colourful decorated equipment frames the elegant man guarding the mulets, himself dressed in a blue costume that creates a spectacular contrast between the cold and warm colours. The different fields of colour, made with a passionate brushwork and an extensive play of light and shadows reflects the spectacle of the sun at its peak. ”Mulets of Telouet” offers a devoted composition, embracing the Moroccan life and culture.

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