Aloise Corbaz artwork estimated to make $80,000

A work by Swiss outsider artist Aloise Corbaz (1886-1964) that once belonged to surrealist writer Andre Breton is heading to auction.

Aristoloches is a work on paper executed in coloured pencil. It carries an estimate of $40,000-80,000.

Aloise Corbaz Imperial

Aloise Corbaz was a hugely talented outsider artist

Corbaz was employed as a governess in the court of Kaiser Wilhelm II in Germany in the early 1900s. While there, she developed schizophrenia – leading her to believe that she and the Kaiser were in a relationship.

She was confined to a mental hospital in 1918, where she lived until her death in 1964. As a result of her obsessions, much of her work features royal motifs.

Corbaz became known to the surrealists after an introduction to art brut pioneer Jean Dubuffet in 1946.

He recognised her as a kindred spirit and began to collect her work.

Andre Breton (regarded as the founder of surrealism) went on to buy this piece from Dubuffet after becoming enchanted with it. He renamed it Imperial Violets. 

This recognition from two of the most important figures in post-war French art established Corbaz at the top of her market.

“Dubuffet and Breton recognised how important it was to get back to the root of the artistic process, to unlearn everything they had learned and have a raw connection with art, material and existence”, said Christie’s expert Cara Zimmerman.

“Few female self-taught artists have achieved the level of fame or accomplishment that Corbaz has.

“I would say she’s one of the top female artists in the field of outsider art.”

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