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)