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The Wait

The title of a short story by Guy de Maupassant, Maison Tellier, lends its name to a series of works that Sassu began in 1938, taking his inspiration from the world of brothels and the figures of prostitutes.

This theme, already sugested in many of his café paintings, allows the artist in works like The Wait - versions exist from 1938 and 1948 (Liana) - Melancholy, and Solitude, to continue his reflections on the human condition. Like the French writer, Sassu was sensitive to a representation of the world through its marginal characters, who can at times offer moral examples.


Maison Tellier
one evening (Bubů)

The theme is anticipated by some works which go back to the end of the 1930s, like Maison Tellier of 1938 and Il postribilo of 1939, but it is fully developed in the 1940s with groups of female figures seated at the table like La vecchia mondana of 1943-44, Maison Tellier One Evening - Bubů of 1946, or single figure portraits like Lola of 1942 and Maria of 1946, and especially interiors of brothels, not always distinguishable from his usual café scenes, like The dessert of 1944.

Subjects similar to the Three Nudes of 1942 and Interior of 1943 became more frequent in 1947-48 like The Bawd, La giarrettiera, Tre donne, Gynaeceum, Maison Tellier, and reappeared in a series of ceramic tiles, shown at the gallery L’Illustrazione Italiana in Milan in 1948, and then occasionally in paintings of later years, like Salotto giallo della Maison Tellier of 1956, or in paintings in a different tone, like Susanna of 1962, where it is easy to recognize the underpinnings of models and techniques studied for this cycle.