• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 2165

    Impressionist and Modern Day Sale

    7 May 2009, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 265

    Jean Metzinger (1883-1956)

    Femme assise, en robe bleue

    Price Realised  


    Jean Metzinger (1883-1956)
    Femme assise, en robe bleue
    signed and dated 'JMetzinger 1912' (lower left)
    oil on canvas
    28 7/8 x 21 3/8 in. (73.3 x 54.3 cm.)
    Painted circa 1950

    Contact Client Service
    • info@christies.com

    • New York +1 212 636 2000

    • London +44 (0)20 7839 9060

    • Hong Kong +852 2760 1766

    • Shanghai +86 21 6355 1766

    Contact the department

    Bozena Nikiel has confirmed the authenticity of this painting and has dated it circa 1950.

    In 1913 Guillaume Apollinaire wrote that Jean Metzinger's art was "always more and more abstract, but always charming, raises and attempts to solve the most difficult and unforeseen problems of aesthetics" (quoted in D. Robbins, "Jean Metzinger: At the Center of Cubism," Jean Metzinger in Retrospect, exh. cat., The University of Iowa Museum of Art, Iowa City, 1985, p. 44). The intellectual bent to Metzinger's art dates to well before the war; in fact he is perhaps most widely known as a sensitive and intelligent theoretician of Cubism, a distinction that dates to the 1912 publication of On Cubism, written together with Albert Gleizes.

    Femme assise, en robe bleue is characteristic of Metzinger's later works, which often feature attractive female subjects against a graphic and colorful interior. The sharp delineation of contours and volumetric shading of rounded forms is indebted to his Purist aesthetic of the 1920s, while the coordination of opaque colors and strong vertical elements of the composition are reminiscent of the all-over surface patterning of his late cubist works. Where the femmes of Metzinger's early cubist works were a mere vehicle for aggressive disfiguration, it is only in these later works where the artist presents women as the central focus, lusciously depicted in the same brilliant hues and planar forms.

    Philanthropist Evelyn Annenberg Hall was a devoted patron of the arts for more than fifty years, first joining The Museum of Modern Art's International Art Council in 1970. Together with her second husband, William Jaffe, she assembled an impressive collection of Impressionist and Modern works by artists such as Metzinger, Pierre Bonnard, Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró and Edouard Vuillard, many of which were gifted to the MoMA. The Halls' vast collection also included European paintings, Chinese porcelain, pre-Columbian artifacts and Renaissance drawings.

    Mrs. Hall was a sister of the publishing magnate Walter H. Annenberg, whose personal collection of Impressionist and Modern art was donated to the Metropolitan Museum of Art upon his passing in 2002.


    Feigl Gallery, New York.

    Pre-Lot Text