Françoise Gilot - 20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale, Morning Session New York Tuesday, May 16, 2023 | Phillips
  • Introducing: William (Bill) Snyder


    Françoise Gilot’s Nude on the Beach by the Sea comes from the collection of the late William (Bill) Snyder, a friend of the French painter and her husband at the time, Dr. Jonas Salk, and a proud collector of the artist’s work. Born in Mississippi, Snyder founded a successful porcelain and ceramics factory in Tennessee, which he eventually sold and then moved to the West Coast, settling in the La Jolla neighborhood of San Diego. It was here where Snyder began to attend races at Del Mar and Santa Anita with his friends, eventually becoming involved in buying and racing directly.


    Bill Snyder (center, wearing khaki pants and a white short sleeve collared shirt), at Del Mar racetrack in 1985.

    It was around the same time that Snyder settled in La Jolla when Gilot met her second and last husband, Jonas Salk. After meeting in La Jolla and marrying in 1970, Salk and Gilot eventually settled in the neighborhood. Belonging to the same vibrant social circles and a member of the same walking groups, Salk and Snyder became friends, after which Snyder quickly became a collector and friend of Gilot’s as well. The three friends are said to have bonded over their shared love of horses, attending many of the same races. It was through this friendship with Salk and Gilot that Snyder acquired a handful of paintings and monotypes of hers, such as the present lot.


    Inscribed racing betting ticket by Gilot given to Snyder, reading “Blue Chips and Thoroughbreds will always make it in the end.”

    Created while Gilot was living in La Jolla, the jewel-toned background in Nude on the Beach by the Sea emphasizes the artist’s connection to the ocean and appreciation for nature’s beauty. Undoubtedly inspired by her Southern California surroundings, each of the works in Snyder’s collection provides an intimate look at Gilot’s life and the friendships she formed during this time. Snyder is remembered today for his close relationship with his children and grandchildren, and a shared love of art, the ocean and horses that connected him to Gilot decades ago.


    The inscribed front pages of Francoise Gilot: An Artist’s Journey, 1987, to Bill and Ellen (Bill’s daughter)


    • Provenance

      Riggs Gallery, La Jolla
      William (Bill) Snyder, La Jolla (acquired from the above)
      Thence by descent to the present owner

Property from the Collection of William (Bill) Snyder


Nude on the Beach by the Sea

signed "F. Gilot" lower right; dated "1987" lower left
oil on canvas
8 3/4 x 5 1/2 in. (22.2 x 14 cm)
Painted in 1987.

The authenticity of this work has been confirmed by Aurélia Engel and is registered in the artist's archives under the number #1098.

Full Cataloguing

$6,000 - 8,000 

Sold for $22,860

Contact Specialist

Annie Dolan

Specialist, Head of Sale, Morning Session
+1 212 940 1288

20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale, Morning Session

New York Auction 16 May 2023