Acrobate sur le cheval blanc

Jean Metzinger Catalogue Raisonné

Number: AM-24-014 Jean Metzinger

Date: 1924 (circa)

Title: Acrobate sur le cheval blanc

Medium: Oil on canvas

Dimensions: 100 x 72.5 cm

Inscriptions: Signed (lower right)

Provenance: Hôtel Drouot, Paris, 4 June 1926, lot 132 (reproduced in the catalogue).

Anon. sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, 14 December 1964, lot 127. 

The Greer Gallery, New York. 

Anon. (acquired from the above, circa 1970).

Christie’s, New York, 8 November 2012, lot 417. Private collection (acquired at the above sale).

Christie’s, New York, 8 November 2012, lot 417

Galerie Félix Vercel, Paris

Christie’s, New York, 16 May 2017, lot 319

Notes: The woman and horse appears in Metzinger’s oeuvre as early as 1911-12 (La femme au cheval, AM-11-022), while the theme of the circus combined appear primarily during the early 1920s.

The geometric armature present in Acrobate sur le cheval blanc is consistent with Metzinger’s continuing interest in mathematics. A comparison of Acrobate sur le cheval blanc with other works by Metzinger of the early to mid-1920s reveals common properties; choice of color, diffused brushstrokes, occasional textures, omnidirectional lighting, spatial flattening, reflection symmetry, circular forms and focal points. What at first glance appears to be a simple underlying structure, is actually quite complex, consisting of a combination of quasi-parallel lines on various angles, pyramidal, circular forms and converging lines or arcs.

The result is a combination of tradition and modernity, the transient and the immutable, fugitive and the eternal, of Classicism and Cubism, all of which were essential aspects of continuity throughout Metzinger’s career as an artist.

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