Jean Metzinger Catalogue Raisonné
Number: AM-22-003 Jean Metzinger
Title: Arlequin, Embarkation of Harlequin
Medium: Oil on canvas
Dimensions: 161.9 x 113 cm
Inscriptions: Signed (lower right)
Provenance: Léonce Rosenberg, Galerie l’Effort Moderne, Paris.
Henri Benezit, Paris
International Gallery, New York
Parke-Bernet Galleries, New York, 14 April 1965, lot 40
Leonard Rosen, New York (acquired at the above sale)
Sotheby Parke Bernet, Los Angeles, 20 November 1972, lot 85
Frederick and Elsie Adler, New York (thence by descent)
Doyle, New York, 1 November 2016, lot 53
Doyle, New York, 15 May 2018, lot 167
Christie’s, New York, 14 May 2022, lot 889
Exhibitions: Salon des Indépendants, 1923, no. 3271 (titled L’embarquement d’Arlequin)
Literature: Bulletin de L’Effort Moderne, January 1924, No. 1, reproduced (titled Arlequin)
Joann Moser, Daniel Robbins, Jean Metzinger in Retrospect, The University of Iowa Museum of Art, 1985, no. 180, p. 103, reproduced.
Christopher Green, Cubism and its Enemies, Modern Movements and Reaction in French Art, 1916–1928, Yale University Press, New Haven and London, 1987, no. 65, p. 53, reproduced.
Notes: Metzinger’s Embarkation of Harlequin is not overtly Cubist; neither as concerns mobile perspective as portrayed between 1909 and 1914, nor as portrayed during the ‘crystal’ phase of Cubism that evolved during the war, composed of shifting planes, reduced depth perception or flat surface activity. Yet, Embarkation of Harlequin was entirely constructed under the spell of Metzinger’s ‘new perspective.’ […]
Intriguingly, Metzinger’s process of synthesis beginning with profoundly anti-naturalistic geometric manipulation of form led to an art that was compositionally stable and instantly legible. He did not analyze objects, things or events (such as a harlequin stepping onto a boat) on an observational basis. Rather, he invented and constructed his images synthetically (however suggestively or expressively) from the abstract to the figurative, from the non-representational to the recognizable subject of his choice. His decision to transit to a form of visually representational subject matter suggestive of classical or traditional painting in no way affected his synthetic working method as a Cubist artist. (Excerpt from the Metzinger monograph, Volume II, by A.Mittelmann)