Nu coucher

Jean Metzinger Catalogue Raisonné

Number: AM-46-004 Jean Metzinger

Date: 1946

Title: Nu coucher (Nu couché sur cousins violets)

Medium: Oil on canvas

Dimensions: 54 x 73 cm

Inscriptions: Signed and dated 46 (lower left)

Provenance: Sotheby’s, London, 26 June 1985, lot 274.

Alexander Kahan Fine Arts, New York (acquired at the above sale). 

Private collection, Paris.

Loudmer, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, 19 June 1988. 

Private collection, Paris, New Jersey (acquired at the above sale).

Sotheby’s, New York, 8 May 2008, lot 420.

Notes: Metzinger’s Cubist works produced during the 1940s and 1950s—such as Nu Couché of 1946—were in fact not reproductions or pastiches of any of his earlier paintings, nor were they an attempt by the artist to imitate his pre-1920 form of Cubism. The Cubist style of these later paintings does not resemble any of his former works traced throughout the years spanning from 1908 through the Post-Cubist epoch, i.e., they are in fact recognizably distinct. Though undeniably Cubist, each was a new creation unto itself. They too possess the sensitivity, brilliance and intelligence of his earlier works; in their subject matter, geometric composition, color harmonies, topology, symmetry, the study of quantity, space, structure, simultaneity, and mobility. These aesthetic considerations are—in and of themselves factors that contribute to a Cubist aesthetic—sufficient to justify the continuation of purely Cubist painting. Cubism in all its many ramifications may have been the greatest growth area in twentieth century art. There was no reason why it should stop evolving.

Following his Neo-Impressionist, Divisionist and Fauve period (1903 to circa 1907) to 1956, Metzinger worked in a Cubist idiom with minor deviations into geometrically experimental forms of classicism, and unlike others of his entourage never found that Cubism did not fulfill his artistic needs. (Alex Mittelmann, Nov. 2011 – April 2012)

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