Jean Metzinger Catalogue Raisonné
Number: AM-10-001 Jean Metzinger
Date: 1910 (circa)
Title: Groupe de femmes
Medium: Oil on panel
Dimensions: 11.1 x 8.1 cm
Inscriptions: Signed (lower right)
Provenance: Collection Jacques Bon, France
Private collection, France
Christoph Morel, Drouot Richelieu, Paris, 21 October 2016, lot 31.
Notes: Metzinger rightly believed that the art of any period was a culmination, an extension of all that preceded it. “Tradition is in us”, he wrote in Note sur la peinture (1910), “it is an acquisition of the subconscious, we don’t have to think about it. We should stop for a moment before the Masters, listen to what they have to say… and pass on. Groupe de femmes consists of five figures; two reclining, one playing a mandoline, and two standing the sea beyond, in what could be a Mediterranean scene from Classical antiquity, 8th century BC (circa the earliest recorded poetry of Homer). And yet, what emerges here is a radical grid-pattern unlike any before, within which the figures bathe, consisting of crosshatched semi-parallel diagonal structures that combined form a quasi-symmetric diamond-like structure, with enhancements of color that accentuate such form. This type of geometric image-making would become a staple of Metzinger’s work throughout much of his career, and it proved to be an influential feature on a number of his artist colleagues, if not all of them, beginning with Juan Gris.