The Netherlands / 1922 - 2010
Panoramic view of the Quartier Rose (1973)
Acrylic on canvas - Triptych
Sig. '73 (1x) and sig. on the reverse '73 with title (each)
100 x 245 cm (tot.)
- Lefebre Gal., New York
Auction Christie's, London 1993 & 2002
- "50 Nudes. Aprivate Collection Revealed" Simon Vinkenoog e.a., Veenman Publ. 2009, p. 50-51 ill.
"Corneille. La peinture paradis" Victor Vanoosten, Arteos, Paris 2019, p. 180 ill.
Paradise in Amsterdam
« Panoramic view of the Quartier Rose » dates from a period in which Corneille used bright, often bolds colors that he rendered in flat areas of color. It’s an evolution in his oeuvre arising from a few trips he made between 1965 and 1970 to Central and South America. Corneille thrived in this paradise setting – he even bought a piece of land in Mexico. The lush colours, exuberant nature and tropical vegetation that he discovered here caused a turn in his oeuvre and spawned new iconographic themes.
In Corneille's imaginary, the story largely develops in the interaction between two key players: the woman and the bird. The woman is connected to the earth, to rest and love. The bird represents air, movement, freedom and desire - the masculine. The artist developed a universal and mythological world suffused with eroticism in which the woman is the supreme figure, a Goddess-Mother. She is a force from which everything originates and flows. She is Eva, Leda, the Queen of the Amsterdam Red Light District. Her body shows itself in different guises and is, in Corneille's words, “a dictionary of forms and colors and also of feelings and warmth.”
In « Panoramic view of the Quartier Rose », Corneille swaps his usual flora for an urban paradise. The composition is devided into three parts, with the entrance to the Amsterdam Red Light District on the left. The central part depicts a typical façade of terraced houses, with the residents behind their red-lit windows inside and the always present city pigeons outside. On the right, a female figure shows in a kind of shrine, a Madonna idolized by the flock of birds around her. The format of the triptych evokes associations with the Catholic tradition of altarpieces – which dubiously contrasts with the subject.