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Jean Metzinger (1883 - 1956)

Lot 212A: JEAN METZINGER

Sotheby's

November 6, 2003
New York, NY, US

More About this Item


Description

SIGNED AND DATED (MAKER'S MARKS)
Signed Metzinger (lower right)

Dimensions

36 1/4 by 23 5/8 in. (92 by 60cm).

Medium

Oil on canvas

Date

Painted in 1918.

Provenance

PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE FRENCH COLLECTION

Acquired by the family of the previous owner circa 1920-30

Notes

By the time this work was painted in 1913, Metzinger was considered to be at the forefront of the Cubist movement, having exhibited alongside Juan Gris and and more specifically the group known as La Section d'Or. This group, which included artists such as Robert Delaunay, Henri Le Fauconnier and Robert de la Fresnaye, was particularly interested in the use of mathematics and geometry to create a new and modern aesthetic. In 1912, Metzinger and Gleizes published Du Cubisme, which was the most comprehensive survey of the time that discussed the theories and aims of this movement.

Some of these theories have been put into practice in the present work. The female figure is built up around the strong black plane that runs down the center of the composition, creating a pure and balanced work. This harmony is further enhanced by the simplicity of both line and color, which remains between muted blues and greys. John Golding discusses the artist's style further: "Metzinger has learned from Picasso how to reconcile three-dimensional form with the picture plane, by placing the subject in shallow depth and fusing it with its surroundings, but there is no real interest in analysing forms... Metzinger elongates his figures in a mannerist fashion, denying their sculptural solidity. His vision is still fundamentally naturalistic, and he views his subject from the single, static point of traditional painting." (John Golding, Cubism: A History and an Analysis, 1907-1914, London, 1959, p. 147)

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