Jean Metzinger Catalogue Raisonné
Researched and written by Alexander Mittelmann
The Metzinger Association, Défense et promotion de l’œuvre de l’artiste Jean Metzinger, is honored to present the Jean Metzinger Catalogue Raisonné (or Critical Catalogue), the authoritative listing of the artistic production of Jean Dominique Antony Metzinger (1883–1956). The Metzinger catalogue raisonné serves as a scholarly instrument for academic researchers, while providing a source of provenance and authentication information for collectors, dealers and auction houses.
Photograph of Jean Metzinger, G.-L. Manuel Frères, Archives Documentation Centre Pompidou
The not-for-profit organization has set out to advance, restore, and supplement existing documentation in order to provide a rigorous, comprehensive, and authoritative history and description of the complete body of Metzinger’s work.
The online Jean Metzinger Catalogue Raisonné is a work-in-progress, which includes the archival material compiled by the late Bozena Nikiel, along with an independently constituted archive assembled over several decades in view of the forthcoming monograph dedicated to the artist.
Although the initial idea for both the Metzinger monograph and catalogue raisonné was traditional print publications, it became clear that digital publications were advantageous on multiple fronts; without detracting from the prestige of printed versions. The velocity, versatility and sophistication of this digital tool provide a new and original way of presenting and examining the life and work of Metzinger; with core aspects of universal accessibility, updatability, while facilitating searching for specific works and information.
Entries are placed within galleries by date. Each artwork is reproduced on a page with a catalogue number, date, title, medium, dimensions and inscriptions. The signature is denoted simply as Signed (e.g., lower left or right). Monogram signatures or initials are indicated. Inscriptions on the verso are mentioned when relevant. Provenance, literature and exhibitions will be updated progressively. Information contained on labels on the verso are mentioned in Notes or listed in the exhibition history.
Dating and numbering:
Works are numbered and ordered by year of execution and period, sequentially within each date-selection (e.g., 1902-1907, Divisionism, and 1907-1909, Proto-Cubism). Dates overlap in order to accommodate works situated between two date-categories (e.g., 1907-08). Archival entry numbers correspond with the year the artwork was created.
On occasion, dates inscribed on the verso of a work, or attributed in exhibitions or auction catalogues do not match the information provided at the entry page. Information may be provided in the Notes section elaborating on these inconsistencies. Research performed by Jean Laporte and Alexander Mittelmann on the topic of dating incongruities shall be published in the forthcoming Metzinger monograph.
Some of the titles of the works were originally given by the artist himself, while others were assigned retrospectively, descriptively, generically (e.g., Paysage or Nature morte), or are translations from one language to another. When known, precedence is given to the titles Metzinger ascribed to his works; occasionally written on the verso of works, or traced through early exhibitions, publications, or correspondence. Multiple titles may be noted in circumstances where the titles have changed or varied over time. Furthermore, corrections in titles have been made in cases where erroneous or misspelled titles have appeared in prior publications, or for example when the portrait sitters have been identified. (See for example AM-12-008, Jeune femme au collier (Portrait de Zina Brozia).
Dimensions are given in centimeters, with height preceding width. Medium refers to the material the artist used to create his artwork, such as oil on canvas, or graphite on paper.
Photograph of Jean Metzinger, G. L. Manuel Frères, Archives Documentation Centre Pompidou
Collection, provenance, literature:
The second stage following the initial launch of the critical catalogue will be to include as much information as possible for each artwork entry. While this stage is underway, anyone seeking more information, or those with more information about a given artwork, are invited to contact the Metzinger Association (Défense et promotion de l’œuvre de l’artiste Jean Metzinger). Current whereabouts and provenances will be updated continuously, pending privacy concerns. Collectors who prefer to remain anonymous or who have not indicated a preference are listed as Private collection.
Auction and gallery sale records will be included in the provenance in order to establish the chronological chain of custody or location of given artworks over time; providing a contextual recording as to the transitory history of the artwork.
Works for which current location has not been established are listed as Whereabouts unknown. Exhibition listings, provenance, and literature will be included over time and when available. The ultimate objective is to produce a complete list of ownership, together with supporting exhibition and bibliographical documentation for each work.
The Notes section is used for additional information or commentary, highlighting features about the work that may be objective, subjective or anecdotal, pointing out related works or common themes from earlier or later periods (Metzinger periodically revisited themes or subjects). The Notes section may include opinions, writings, and quotes by Metzinger (or others) referring to the works. Divers material such as a condition report, relining, original frames, details of the work’s production, locations where works were produced, whether created on location (en plein air), critical or historical material, references and sources may also be provided—placing the piece within a broader cultural or social framework than mere provenance or exhibition history. Ultimately, every entry in the Metzinger catalogue raisonné will contain additional information in the Notes section.
Metzinger’s work will not be in the public domain in France (or worldwide) until 1 January 2027. Images published in the critical catalogue are intended for nonprofit educational purposes; research, criticism, comment, teaching, and scholarship. Many of Metzinger’s works have already been published or reproduced in newspapers, magazines, periodicals, journals, books, and auction catalogues. Many of these images are in the public domain in the United States because they were published prior to 1 January 1927. Works that were not published before 1 January 1927 are reproduced here under the United States Copyright legal doctrine of fair use for the purpose of analysis and criticism. Low-resolution images (640px) are reproduced for critical commentary, to point out the artistic genre and technique of the artworks within the context of the art movement to which the works correlate. They are hosted on a server in the United States for the Jean Metzinger nonprofit organization (Défense et promotion de l’œuvre de l’artiste Jean Metzinger), qualifying as fair use under US copyright law. Any other uses of these images might be copyright infringement. They are reproduced in the Metzinger critical catalogue in the name of public interest for non-commercial use only. It has been made known that the proliferation of inauthentic works signed JMetzinger has increased over time. Inclusion in Jean Metzinger Catalogue Raisonné can only benefit the potential market value of authentic works by the artist.
The Jean Metzinger Association, Défense et promotion de l’œuvre de l’artiste Jean Metzinger, wishes to highlight that this digital critical catalogue comes from a highly sophisticated and continuously enriched database with a substantial number of sources and references that at present can only be consulted through the Association by request; by virtue of legal reasons or pending inclusion, some of the bibliographic, artistic, archival content may not yet be offered on this portal.
Private collectors, galleries, museums, and other institutions that have owned or are currently in possession of works by Metzinger are invited to submit photographs and detailed information on works that might enrich the content (e.g., exhibition history, provenance). Works will be examined in person when possible. For further information on the Jean Metzinger Catalogue Raisonné or on the Metzinger nonprofit organization, please contact us.
Post-Impressionism, Divisionism, Fauvism
Order, Purity, Surrealism