Willette, Adolphe. (1857–1926)

Original Sketch with Autograph Inscription

Original sketch by the French illustrator and painter, who has inscribed to lower right "à Monsieur Lallier qui / voit passer souvent son ami Pierrot / au clair de lune." ("To Mr. Lallier, who often sees his friend Pierrot pass by in the light of the moon.")  Sketch depicts a dramatic scene between two young women, one taking aim with a pistol as the other recoils in fear, their coachmen standing in wait in the background while two dogs tussle in the lower right corner.  Ink, pencil and blue colored pencil on paper, mounted on card.  Folding creases and light soiling, else fine.  8.75 x 10.75 inches (22.2 x 27.4 cm.)

Provenance: from the collections of Curnonsky (Maurice Edmond Sailland), the celebrated French writer on gastronomy, and the art dealer and collector Michel de Bry.

The French artist Adolphe Léon Willette was active as a painter, illustrator, caricaturist, and lithographer, as well as being one of the architects of the famous Moulin Rouge cabaret. Under various pen names, including "Pierrot," he was a frequent contributor to the French illustrated press. His artistic style was an important influence within the artistic community of Montmartre, where he often decorated brasseries and even menus in exchange for a meal. He was a founder and the first president of the "République de Montmartre," the philanthropic organization of Montmartre artists founded in 1920. (15682)

Art & Design