Pauvre de nous


Oil on canvas

91 x 130.5 cm

Martial Raysse depicts himself in his studio, burying his face in his hands in a gesture of despair or exhaustion. The movement causes the green sheet on his ochre jacket to slip while to his right a messy table covered by brushes, a vase of flowers, food and a book compose an intimate still life.

The portrait genre is one of the major links in Raysse's work. Many of his paintings ranging from the 1960s to today reveal his continuous reflection on the face as a mask and its symbolism, irony and psychology. Some of his portraits and self-portraits are preparatory studies for monumental allegorical compositions. Pauvre de nous (Poor Us) is striking for its realism and psychological power.

Raysse's painting Pauvre de nous was shown for the first time by the Pinault Collection at the major retrospective exhibition devoted to him at the Palazzo Grassi in 2015.