Parc Montsouris

Jean Metzinger Catalogue Raisonné

Number: AM-06-011 Jean Metzinger

Date: 1906-07

Title: Landscape with Fountain (Parc Montsouris)

Medium: Oil on canvas

Dimensions: 53.3 x 73.6 cm

Inscriptions: Signed (lower right)

Provenance: Private collection, California

Margit Chanin, New York

Sotheby & Co., A Collection of Works by Cubist and Futurist Artists, 7 July 1971, lot 121 (titled Fontaine et Paysage).

Approaching Modernity, Works from Impressionism to Early Modernism, Findlay Galleries, New York, 1 June – 1 July 2022

Exhibitions: Neo-Impressionism, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, February – April 1968, no. 162, p. 221 (color plate)

Literature: Robert Herbert, Neo-Impressionism, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, 1968, no. 162, p. 221 (color plate).

Notes: Landscape with Fountain, visibly painted at the same location as Matin au Parc Montsouris, further testifies to Metzinger’s intention of reducing elements of nature down to their most basic level. This move towards increased abstraction is exemplified here by the transformation from a Neo-Impressionist, Divisionist style to an extreme Divisionist fracture with tiles of undiluted color resembling the tesserae of a Byzantine mosaic. This, to the credit of Metzinger, shows a level of skill and artistry never before seen.

It remains unclear to what extent, if at all, ceramic mosaics influenced the artist. During the late 19th century there was a revival of interest in mosaics, particularly in the Neo-Roman-Byzantine style, with erections such as the Basilique du Sacré-Coeur in Montmartre, located on the same Rue Lamarck as Metzinger’s studio, albeit further up the hill.

The Art Nouveau movement also embraced mosaic art, notably in Barcelona, where Antoni Gaudí and Josep Maria Jujol worked to produce the remarkable ceramic mosaics of the Parc Güell and the Basílica de la Sagrada Família during the first two decades of the 20th century. (Alexander Mittelmann, Jean Metzinger, Divisionism, Cubism, Neoclassicism and Post Cubism, written 2 May 2012)

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