Sanyu is a great innovator, probably influenced by Modigliani's nudes. He fully materializes the idea of the dominance of a sharp line. To draw the body, he favors the undulating lines and removes the unnecessary details. He lengthens torso and legs, and deliberately shrinks the head which is not interesting him.
Sanyu was a fiercely independent temperament, like Soutine. There is no doubt that he preferred his art to the fame but he also needed money and his demands went to weary his dealer Henri-Pierre Roché who broke their relationship in 1932.
Largely from Roché, Sanyu had understood the expressive qualities of oil painting. On October 3 in Hong Kong, Poly sells as lot 133 a pink nude painted by Sanyu in the 1930s. This oil on board 47 x 82 cm had been sold for HK $ 14M including premium by Sotheby's on 4 October 2010.
The woman is lying on her back on a white blanket with floral pattern. She is quietly sleeping with arms around her head and with tight legs. This nearly monochromatic composition is overwhelmed by the vivid pink flesh of this Parisian woman with a blonde hair.
SOLD for HK$ 59M including premium