In addition to the paintings created for his own pleasure, Lamotte provided the illustrations for several later publications of celebrated French novels, including Émile Zola’s Nana (1948), Guy de Maupassant’s Bel-Ami (1968), Marcel Proust’s Swann’s Way (1954), and the 1955 printing of Alexandre Dumas’ La Dame Aux Camelias (Camille), for which this scene from Chapter XVI might have been created. We are conducting further research to determine if this composition was actually used in the final 1955 publication. Regardless, as an individual artwork it reveals Lamotte’s thorough grasp of the ink medium in depicting the rich, dark forms of the novel’s protagonists, Marguerite Gautier and Armand Duval, strolling among the trees of the Champs-Elysees on a warm evening. To each other, the couple seem to be the only people in the world, a feeling reflected through Lamotte’s hazy rendering of the landscape and figures in the background.
Please note: this work is matted but unframed
More information about this painting...
Gifted to private collection, Danbury, Connecticut, and later Plainfield, New Jersey (mother of current owner), ca. 1980s
By descent to private collection, Springfield, Missouri
(verso of old board, from which painting was removed) Chapitre XVI / Page 196 / et nous allions a pied, comme aux enfants, courir le soir / dans les allées sombres des Champs-Élysées. 16 (translates: and we went on foot, like children, to run at night in the dark alleys of the Champs-Elysees.)