Paysage aux Ibis

Jean Metzinger Catalogue Raisonné

Number: AM-06-003 Jean Metzinger

Date: 1906 (circa)

Title: Paysage aux Ibis (Landscape with Ibis, Le petit lac)

Medium: Oil on canvas

Dimensions: 54.5 x 73 cm

Inscriptions: Signed (lower right)

Provenance: Mr. and Mrs. Herbert

Sale, Georges Blache, Versailles, 31 May 1961 (titled Paysage Pointilliste).

Palais Galliera, Paris, 15 June 1965, lot 27

Literature: Austin American-Statesman, 28 November 1985, reproduced p. 117

Notes: Metzinger’s aim, as it seems here, was to resolve the colors of nature into six bands of the spectrum, and to represent these on the canvas by rectangles of unmixed (or slightly mixed) pigment. At a sufficient distance these rectangles combine their hues upon the retina, giving the effect of a blending of colored light rather than individually placed pigments. The resulting effect is one of increasing rather than diminishing luminosity.

One of the stunning features of this landscape is the effect of mist (or fog) created by the gradation of lighter hues tending towards the center of the painting. The effect manifests itself increasingly with distance or upon squinting the eye.

The ibis towards the (lower right), the sun radiating through the haze, and the shape of the trees (palms?) give the painting an overall subtropical glow, and aside from the bird, a highly abstract flavor. (Alexander Mittelmann, Jean Metzinger, Divisionism, Cubism, Neoclassicism and Post Cubism, written 2 May 2012)

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