Jean Metzinger Catalogue Raisonné
Number: AM-07-008 Jean Metzinger
Title: Paysage provençal (Environs de Martigues)
Medium: Oil on cardboard
Dimensions: 21.5 x 27 cm
Inscriptions: Signed (lower right)
Provenance: Suzanne Metzinger
Herbert and Natalie Kirshner, New York
Sale, Ketterer Kunst München, 19 May 2001, lot 9
Exhibitions: (Salon d’Automne 1908?)
Notes: Certified on the verso in Paris by Suzanne Metzinger, in 1969 (incorrectly dated 1911).
A structural analysis of Metzinger’s Proto-Cubist Paysage provençal highlights the abstract nature of Metzinger’s underlying geometric armature, the landscape depicted in absence of classical one- or two-point perspective. Details in the lower central portion—a house, foreground trees, and a Provençal olive grove beyond—while important elements of the painting are not structural per se. The only relic of the past giving the illusion of depth is the device of overlapping elements (e.g., the tree to the (lower left) appears in front of the house) and objects ‘further’ away are higher up on the picture plane (the house appears in front of the olive grove, and the house on the hill appears furthest away). The compartments of the underlying armature are filled primarily with solid color; without shading, gradation, or transitioning from one color to another, adding to the overall flattening of the surface.