Jean Metzinger Catalogue Raisonné

Number: AM-02-002 Jean Metzinger

Date: 1902-03 (circa)

Title: Clairière

Medium: Oil on canvas

Dimensions: 54.3 x 73.2 cm

Inscriptions: Monogram JM (lower right)

Provenance: Sale, Sotheby’s, Paris, 13 December 2007, lot 100 

Private collection (acquired during this sale)

Private collection, London

Sale, Christie’s, Paris, 28 November 2012, lot 83

Sale, Aguttes, Paris, 2 June 2015, lot 137

Notes: Bozena Nikiel dated this work circa 1903. The painting was restored May through September 2004.

Clairière possesses a freedom seldom found in the works of Cross, Seurat or Signac, suggesting that Metzinger had already attempted the exploration of avenues not yet taken by painters prior to his arrival in the world of art. Whether that indeed was his goal, and whether he had succeeded in attaining that goal in such paintings as Clairière is however questionable. Certainly, like Matisse of the same period, Metzinger felt liberated enough from the traditional mode of painting to employ a largely expressionistic style, perhaps here under the influence of Claude Monet’s later period.

Not quite Neo-Impressionist and not quite Fauve or Cubist in nature, Clairière appears to be flanked between the three, at a time in the history of art (in retrospect) when all was about to change.

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