Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    Madeleine Rousseau. Letters of Correspondence.
    1) Jean René Bazaine. ALS. "Bazaine." Two pages in French, 5.25" x 8.25", [Paris?]; January 27, [circa 1935]. Letter from a young Jean René Bazaine (1904-2001), a French painter, designer of stained glass windows, and writer, to Madeleine Rousseau in which he mentions that he had just received a letter from her and regrets not having accompanied her to visit Marcel Gromaire [Marcel Gromaire (1892-1971), a French painter]. Congratulates her on her thesis [on the work of Philippe-Auguste Jeanron, director of the National Museums under the Second Republic (1848-1852), presented as a thesis of the Louvre in 1935.] which he has heard praised by a number of people. He would have attended but he is still tired though he has ample work to do. Asks her to tell him if she submits [her thesis?) to the "Independants" [Salon des Independants?]; he no longer submits anything there since the Salon du Temps Présent is taking place at "Beaux-Arts." Will phone Marcel Gromaire the following day and make an appointment with him. Mentions a title [for a painting? An essay?] "À la recherche de la tradition perdue", the "tradition" being "Raphael, Ingres, Luc-Olivier Merson, Etcheverry, Chapelain-Midy". Bazaine's humble response to the lost tradition: love, especially what love contains of "intelligence, c'est-à-dire de compréhension profonde." 2) Jean René Bazaine. ALS. "Bazaine." Two pages in French, 5.25" x 8.5", [Forges-les-Bains?]; April 17, 1935. Letter from Bazaine to Rousseau in which he thanks her for continuing the chain; many cut out but the risk is low and the potential result is worth it. Invites her to visit him in his rural location near Paris ["ma campagne"] if she is in the city in September. He would invite her sooner but he is in full swing with his watercolor work, 12 hours a day. He sketches the placement of colors on his palette for her ["rangé par chaud et froid"] and writes that painting watercolors is fascinating, intense, deep and intelligent work.

    3) Jean René Bazaine. ALS. "Bazaine." Three pages in French, 5.5" x 8.25", Forges-les-Bains; [June] 19, 1935. Bazaine begins this letter to Rousseau with a side note at the top which instructs her to reflect on the "love at first sight" that Lhote [André Lhote (1885-1962), a French Cubist painter] speaks or writes about. Says he will go see her paintings on Sunday and thanks her for trusting him. "Painting like a child? Yes and no - the primitives were not at all children - in fact children do not have a sensitive vision, but an extraordinarily depressing, reforming [?] creative if you will. That is their strength and the way a child's vision can cool off a highly intellectual art." He praises Bonnard [Pierre Bonnard (1867-1947), a French painter, illustrator, and printmaker], saying he is the only one that counts in his humble opinion. Advises her to make an effort to think more flexibly and in basic terms ["plastiquement"] such as color, value, rhythm, and sketching, and the subject of her art will come back on its own. The more pure are the methods, the grander the result. Ends letter by asking forgiveness for gossiping. 4) Auguste Perret. ALS. "Aug. Perret." One page (of a bifolium) in French on A & G. Perret Architectes stationary, with canceled postal cover, 5.25" x 8.25", Paris; October 10, 1837. Letter from Perret (1874-1954), a French architect and a pioneer of the architectural use of reinforced concrete, to Rousseau in which he writes that he remains keenly aware of her expression of enthusiasm, and mentions disappointments [not clear concerning rest of letter due to illegible handwriting]. 5) [Unnamed correspondent]. TLS. [illegible]. One page in French, with canceled postal cover, 8.25" x 10.5", Paris; May 21, 1938. Writer of letter to Rousseau at the Musée du Luxembourg states that her delay in showing up to the Gallerie Pittoresque is convenient because it allows him/her to request that she come bearing a negro mask ("masque nègre") that he had lent to Henri Rivière [Henri Rivière (1864-1951), a French artist and designer]. Looks forward to seeing her and the mask soon. 6) [Unnamed correspondent]. ALS. [illegible]. One page in French, 8.5" x 10.75", Boulogne-sur-Seine [Paris]; June 8, 1938. The writer of this letter to Rousseau assures her of his admiration for the A.P.A.M. [People's Association of Museums] and is happy to give her a sketch for the raffle; he sadly does not have any small sculptures to offer. He can otherwise offer her a piece of art or some money. 7) [Unnamed correspondent]. ALS. [illegible]. One page in French, with unposted cover, 8.25" x 10.5", Paris; June 11, 1838. This writer to Rousseau offers a book in addition to the drawing they have already given Madeleine for the raffle. 8) Édouard Georges Mac-Avoy. ALS. "Mac'Avoy." One page in French, 8.25" x 10.5", [Paris?]; Saturday, n.d. [circa 1938]. In this letter to Rousseau from the French artist Mac-Avoy (1905-1991), the latter writes that he is pleased for her about her new arrangement and that he hopes she will remain part of their group in spirit; invites her to attend a no frills mid-afternoon gathering at his studio the following Tuesday in order that he may show her his projects made during the summer. 9) Marcel Gromaire. ALS. "M.G." Two pages in French, 5.25" x 7", [Aubusson]; October 10, 1943. In this letter from the artist Gromaire to Rousseau, he thanks her for her letter and the "mandat" [money order or something to do with payment] and compliments her on being a strong businesswoman. Says his spoon pleases him more and more as time goes on, that it is of extraordinary purity and breaks up the monotony of Aubusson in central France. His "pencil" is infused with divine protection and must have hung for a century or two between bronze breasts. H's [Henri Rivière] mask ["masque d'H"] is fantastic and of a bottomless profundity/intensity. Thanks her for relinquishing the pieces and hopes that he may one day also have the Bakota. He misses Paris and their friends now he is in his sordid attic in Aubusson but he misses the calm of Aubusson...when he is in Paris. He has just completed an engraving for a book by Emmanuel [?] and is resuming painting. If Madeleine truly likes the watercolor, he will keep it for her. 10) Marcel Gromaire. ALS. "M. Gromaire." Two pages in French, 5.25" x 8.25", [Aubusson]; October 31, 1943. Gromaire writes to Rousseau that he is pleased she is working continuously although she is uncertain about the direction of her work. He writes that it is too bad about the Bakota but that he simply wants to make clear that if one day she wishes to let it go, he would be the customer, if he happened to have the funds for it at such a time. He has difficulty working since most of his time is spent chasing away the blues and finding motivation, often to no avail. Bazaine's case (presumably Jean René Bazaine) is not uncommon because creating something valid ["valable"] at this point in time is superhuman. He would like to return to Paris but wants to complete a few paintings that are at least average quality before doing so although he might take the train up anyway to move about and see everyone. 11) Madeleine Rousseau. AL. One page in French, 5.25" x 8.25", n.p.; July 17, 1944. In this letter to Jean Dubuffet (1901-1985), a French painter and sculptor, Rousseau relates how, in conversation with French art dealer Charles Ratton (1895-1986), she mentioned that a painting Dubuffet gave to her June 16th must be cursed because she had disagreements with both Charles and with Dubuffet since the painting's arrival; Ratton tells her he will take it in exchange for an object and she agrees. She subsequently realizes the lack of refinement ["inélégance"] this demonstrates and tries to rescind but Ratton holds fast so she relents to giving him the painting but returns the object to him also, not wishing to make the painting part of a transaction. 12) [J. Harting?]. ALS. ["J. Harting"?]. Three pages (of a bifolium) in French, 5.25" x 8.25", n.p.; n.d. In this letter to Rousseau, the correspondent opens letter by saying it is accompanied by a sketch he made of a Miró painting and asks her not to judge him harshly on it since he drew it in a hurry. The sketch does not give a good sense of the very beautiful painting, dated 1937. Painting is very well-made with powerful black tones and beautiful colors, also well-framed. It is not a painting but a gouache. However, it is so well made it is more of a painting than most paintings of Miró. Originally, he had been asked for 100,000 but he reduced the price to 70,000. The owner has an urgent need for cash otherwise he could not have obtained such a price drop from him. Does not know if he can get even more of a reduction and is not hopeful but it is worth a try. Only thing: the sale/payment must happen immediately and the owner does not wish for the sale to be publicized or spoken about so she must show the sketch to her potential buyer urgently. Asks for a reply by tomorrow or Thursday and suggests it is reasonable for them to add 10,000 each for a total asking price of 90,000. He could bring the painting for a viewing but preferably only if the sale is almost sure to go through. 13) [Unnamed correspondent]. ALS. [Illegible]. One page in French, 8.25" x 10.5", Paris; n.d. In this letter to Rousseau, the correspondent send regrets his/her absence during her visit to his/her studio, especially since wanted to discuss transferring certain paintings from the exhibition at the Petit Palais into the "Magic Lantern" ["lanterne magique"]. Has some photos he/she would gladly give Madeleine and asks her to call in order to set up a time for her to visit and retrieve the photos. 14) Charles Lapicque. ALS. "Charles." One page in French on Lapicque's personal stationary, with a canceled postal cover, 8.25" x 10.5", Paris; February 20, 1967. In this letter from the French painter Charles Lapicque (1898-1998) to Rousseau, he informs her that the Galerie Bougers [Borigers?] will organize an exhibit in March called "jeunes peintres de tradition française" with participants from the 1941 exhibition at Galerie Braun. Each will be represented by a duo: a painting from the period 1939-1945 and a recent painting. He says that in her case, a painting from 1939 or 1940 is crucial and she will understand why. He thought of her piece "Sainte Catherine". He hopes she will lend it and assures her she will get it back in time for the Museum of Modern Art ["Musée d'Art Moderne" in Paris].

    Madeleine Rousseau (1895-1980) was a French painter and art teacher who began her life as an artist-painter in Paris during World War I. At the age of 36, she entered the Ecole du Louvre and ending her career as an artist to take up art history. Rousseau worked for many years in the APAM, the People's Association of Museums, founded in 1936, and directed the magazine of APAM, The Living Museum. She was also professor of visual arts at the Institut des Hautes Études Cinématographiques in Paris. From the 1940s to the 1960s, she was an avid collector of non-European, particularly African, art.

    Condition: Most of the letters have the usual folds; otherwise good. Letter #2 has rust residue on the top of the verso die to a removed paper clip; Letter #3 has holes at the top left hand corner due to removed pin and slight rust residue from removed paper clip; Letter #4 the same; Letter #7 has rust residue due to removed paper clip; Letter #8 same; Letter #9 same; Letter #10 same.

    More Information:


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    September, 2019
    4th Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 201

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    25% on the first $300,000 (minimum $49), plus 20% of any amount between $300,000 and $3,000,000, plus 12.5% of any amount over $3,000,000 per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2020 April 23 Historical Manuscripts Signature Auction - Dallas.

    Learn about consigning with us

    The resulting auction of my property overwhelmed me. I want to thank Tom Slater and the Heritage team for a very satisfactory experience and profitable result with my historical consignment.
    Henry L.,
    Lexington, KY
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2019 December 8 Civil War, Militaria, Arms & Armor Signature Auction - Dallas
    2019 December 8 Civil War, Militaria, Arms & Armor Signature Auction - Dallas
    REALIZED SO FAR $917,493