Jean Metzinger Catalogue Raisonné
Number: AM-28-011 Jean Metzinger
Date: 1928 (circa)
Title: L’Isthme de Corinthe
Medium: Oil on canvas
Dimensions: 73 x 54 cm
Inscriptions: Signed (lower right)
Provenance: Léonce Rosenberg, Galerie l’Effort Moderne, Paris.
Victor Servrancks, Brussels.
Galerie Gmurzynska, Cologne.
Private collection, Germany (acquired from the above in 1972).
Christie’s, New York, 10 May 2001, lot 472
Literature: Joann Moser, Daniel Robbins, Jean Metzinger in Retrospect, The University of Iowa Museum of Art, 1985, no. 235, p. 123, reproduced.
Notes: Here, Metzinger has rendered the Corinth canal that connects the Gulf of Corinth with the Saronic Gulf in the Aegean Sea, cutting through the narrow Isthmus of Corinth, separating the Peloponnesian peninsula from the Greek mainland.
Both modern references and ancient Greek references emerge for this painting. Instead of representing the bare rock cliffs of the canal, Metzinger has chosen to sculpt statues in their sides, reminiscent of Greek sculptures with a solemnized Cubist stance, along with the billowing smoke of a modern vessel navigating the narrow channel.