Nu (Nude)

Jean Metzinger Catalogue Raisonné

Number: AM-05-014 Jean Metzinger

Date: 1905-06

Title: Nu (Nude)

Medium: Oil on canvas

Dimensions: 63.5 x 47 cm

Collection: Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, FL

Inscriptions: Signed (lower right)

Provenance: R. F. Perarchie, London

Sale, Étienne Ader, Palais Galleria, Paris, 8 December 1961

Sale, Christie’s, (?) 6 December 1963, lot 125

This double-sided canvas was gifted by Metzinger to R. F. Perarchie’s father in Paris around 1910.

Exhibitions: Pre-Cubist and Cubist Works, 1900-1930, International Galleries, Chicago, 17 April – 10 May 1964 (dated circa 1904), no. 1, reproduced p. 6

Notes: This work too differs considerably from the artists typically associated with Fauvism. Rather than depicting a landscape with figures, such as Luxe, Calme et Volupté (Musée d’Orsay), by Matisse (painted in 1904 and exhibited at the Salon des Indépendants in the spring of 1905), Metzinger attacks the subject of the female nude directly, apparently without hesitation. The somewhat awkward position of the woman is counterbalanced by the flowers to the right of the composition. The brushstrokes, yet similar in size throughout, point in divergent directions: horizontally on the nude, vertically in the crimson background, and diagonally in espouse of the nude on the (lower left) of the painting. The incandescent greens of reflected light, though subtle around her sensuous breasts, are vivid and quasi-ubiquitous (perhaps overworked) on the face of the model. Though not particularly innovative geometrically this composition is rather inspiring in its use of color, texture and dynamic rhythm within which the entire canvas is bathed. (Alexander Mittelmann, Jean Metzinger, Divisionism, Cubism, Neoclassicism and Post Cubism, written 2 May 2012)

Recto of Paysage avec bateaux à voile

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