Paris Salon Painter Emile Grau-Sala

April 16, 2015


Emile Grau-Sala (1911–1975), born Emilio Grau-Sala in Spain, attended the Escuela de Bella Artes, Barcelona, and later studied under Antoni Clavé. He and his wife, painter Ángeles Santos, relocated to Paris at the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War. He was influenced by both his contemporaries in Paris, and painters of older generations, such as Raoul Dufy, and great impressionists, particularly Manet and Renoir. In Paris he found professional success and exhibited both in galleries and the Salons–also in the galleries of his native Barcelona. Internationally, his paintings were shown in London, Buenos Aires, and Los Angeles. He was associated with the “Jeune Peinture” (Young Painting) artists of the School of Paris, the postwar generation of painters working in a modern (less traditional and figurative) style in the 1950s. Lot 149, “Window on Snow,” an early oil on canvas painting from the first years Grau-Sala lived in Paris, clearly has impressionist influences.


Lot 149, Emile Grau-Sala, Fenêtre sur la Neige, 1938-

Lot 149, Emile Grau-Sala, Fenêtre sur la Neige, 1938
May 17, 2015 Modern Art & Design Auction

Known as a figurative painter who used thick, built-up slabs of intense color in oil, Grau-Sala often depicted graceful landscapes and scenes of genteel French society. Exteriors included the racetrack or the circus, seascapes, and elegant parties. Stylish domiciles, portraits, and nude studies, were the subjects of interior scenes. The artist lived in France some twenty-five years before returning to Spain, having first acquired a vacation home in northwestern France–an extremely picturesque setting with a glamorous, international social set. Grau-Sala favored painting the local markets, beaches, and racing scenes–featuring horses and paddocks. The lot here, Le Paddock, involves a typical scene for the artist: a landscape with racing horses.


Lot 148, Emile Grau-Sala, Le Paddock,

Lot 148, Emile Grau-Sala, Le Paddock, 1969
May 17, 2015 Modern Art & Design Auction

A famed illustrator as well, he also painted in watercolor and used pastels. His work illustrated notable editions of books by Maupassant, Colette, and Baudelaire. In 1937 Emile Grau-Sala was awarded third-honorable mention at the Carnegie International exhibition in Pittsburgh. Distinguished art collector Robert Lehman bought two paintings (one with a paddock theme) from French dealers in 1964; both are in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

Brettell, Richard R, Paul Hayes Tucker, and Natalie Henderson Lee. “Emilio Grau-Sala.” Nineteenth-and Twentieth-century Paintings: Paintings in the Robert Lehman Collection. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art; Princeton: in Association with Princeton UP, 2009. 374-377. Print.

Lot 148
Emile Grau-Sala
Le Paddock
Oil on canvas
Signed lower right; signed, titled, and dated “Grau Sala/Paris 69/Paddok
[sic]” verso
Canvas: 22.5″ x 30″; Frame: 32″ x 39″
Provenance: Edgardo Acosta Gallery, Ltd., Beverly Hills, California;
Private Collection, Los Angeles, California (acquired directly from the
above, May 6, 1970); Thence by descent
Estimate: $20,000 – 30,000

Lot 149
Emile Grau-Sala
Fenêtre sur la Neige
Oil on canvas
Signed and dated lower right; signed, titled, and dated verso
Canvas: 22″ x 15″; Frame: 29″ x 22″
Provenance: Private Collection, Los Angeles, California (acquired directly
from Sotheby’s Parke-Bernet Galleries, New York, New York, November 5,
1969, Sale No. 2925, Lot 131); Thence by descent
Estimate: $6,000 – 9,000

May 17, 2015 Modern Art & Design Auction

For more information on this lot or for bidding inquiries, please email a LAMA representative.

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