Jean Metzinger (1883-1956)
Jean Metzinger (1883-1956)

Paysage cubiste

Jean Metzinger (1883-1956)
Paysage cubiste
signed 'JMetzinger' (lower right)
oil on canvas
31 5/8 x 39 ¼ in. (80.3 x 99.6 cm.)
Painted in 1911
Galerie de l'Effort Moderne (Léonce Rosenberg), Paris (by 1924).
Sidney Janis Gallery, New York (acquired from the family of the above, 1958).
PaceWildenstein, New York.
Acquired from the above by the present owner.
(possibly) A. Gleizes, ''Art et ses représentants,'' La Revue Indépendante, 4 September 1911, pp. 161-172.
Bulletin de l'Effort Moderne, no. 4, April 1924 (illustrated; dated 1912 and titled Le Village).
A. Ozenfant and C.E. Jeanneret, "Le Cubisme: Deuxième époque, 1912-1918," L'Esprit Nouveau, no. 24, June 1924 (illustrated; dated 1912).
A. Gleizes, Kubismus, Munich, 1928, p. 2 (illustrated, pl. 29; dated 1912 and titled Landschaft).
R. Cogniat, "Le Cubisme Méthodique: Fernand Léger et le Groupe de l'Effort moderne," L'Amour de l'Art, no. 9, November 1933, p. 237 (illustrated, fig. 302; dated 1912 and titled Le Village).
D. Cottington, Cubism in the Shadow of War: The Avant-Garde and Politics in Paris, 1905-1914, New Haven, 1998, p. 113 (illustrated, fig. 21; titled Paysage).
(possibly) Paris, Salon des Indépendants, April-June 1911, p. 294, no. 4266 (titled Paysage).
Paris, Musée du Petit Palais, Les maîtres de l'art indépendent, 1895-1937, June-October 1937, p. 94, no. 13 (dated 1912 and titled Paysage).
Cincinnati Art Museum, Contemporary Arts Center, Modern Masterpieces for Collectors, December 1959.
New York, Sidney Janis Gallery, XXth Century Artists, October-November 1960, no. 42 (illustrated).
New York, Leonard Hutton Galleries, Albert Gleizes and the Section d'Or: The Alternatives to Cubism, October-December 1964, p. 18, no. 49.
Houston, The Museum of Fine Arts, The Heroic Years: Paris, 1908-1914, October-December 1965 (titled Landscape).
New York, Sidney Janis Gallery, Picasso to Pollock: Selected Works from 2 Generations of European and American Artists, January 1967, no. 19 (illustrated).
Buffalo, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Painters of the Section d'Or, September-October 1967, pp. 44-45 and 47, no. 32 (illustrated, p. 44).
New York, Sidney Janis Gallery, Selected Works by 20th Century European Artists, January-February 1969, no. 31 (illustrated).
New York, Sidney Janis Gallery, 20th Century European Art, February-March 1970, no. 57 (illustrated).
Los Angeles County Museum of Art and New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Cubist Epoch, December 1970-June 1971, pp. 77, 299 and 300, no. 212 (illustrated in color, pl. 73).
Bordeaux, Galerie des Beaux-Arts and Musée d'art moderne de la ville de Paris, Les Cubistes, May-November 1973, p. 83, no. 155 (illustrated in color, pl. XV).
New York, Sidney Janis Gallery, European Masters, January-February 1975, no. 34.
New York, Sidney Janis Gallery, Masters in 20th Century Art, October-November 1979 (illustrated in exhibition announcement).
La Jolla Museum of Contemporary Art and Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Seven Decades of Twentieth-Century Art: From the Sidney and Harriet Janis Collection of the Museum of Modern Art and the Sidney Janis Gallery Collection, March-August 1980, pp. 20, 77 and 88-89, no. 19 (illustrated, p. 21; dated 1911-1912).
Iowa City, The University of Iowa Museum of Art; Austin, Archer M. Huntington Art Gallery, University of Texas; Chicago, The David and Alfred Smart Gallery, The University of Chicago and Pittsburgh, Museum of Art, Carnegie Institute, Jean Metzinger in Retrospect, August 1985-May 1986, pp. 44 and 86, no. 128 (illustrated in color, p. 29; dated circa 1911-1912 and titled Cubist Landscape (Le Village)).

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Sarah El-Tamer
Sarah El-Tamer

Lot Essay

Although credit for the invention of Cubism lies unequivocally with Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque, it was Metzinger more than any other painter who took the helm in forming a cubist school of painting and codifying its ideas in writing. In 1911, he organized a group of like-minded artists—Robert Delaunay, Fernand Léger, Albert Gleizes, Henri Le Fauconnier, and himself—to exhibit together at the Salon des Indépendants, officially launching the cubist movement in Paris. It is quite likely that the present work, Paysage cubiste, was included in this exhibition. The following year, Metzinger was a driving force behind the Section d’Or exhibition at the Galerie la Boétie, the most comprehensive manifestation of Cubism before the war. Along with Gleizes, moreover, Metzinger was the co-author of Du Cubisme (1912), which articulated fully for the first time a philosophical basis for this radically new pictorial language.
Metzinger’s rational, intellectual approach to Cubism informed his painting as well as his organizing, theorizing, and writing. Apollinaire noted in 1913 that Metzinger’s art, “always more and more abstract, but always charming, raises and attempts to solve the most difficult and unforeseen problems of aesthetics” (quoted in exh. cat., op. cit., 1985, p. 44).
It is believed that the present work is the one that Gleizes described in the article he published in the September 1911 issue of La revue indépendante:
"[Metzinger] is a painter first, gifted with a rare sensibility, sustained by a will and a logical mind in the service of a subtle intelligence. Some day, the influence his research has had on the evolution of the plastic method, on the renaissance of twentieth-century painting, will have to be recognized…His Femme nue, depicted from various angles and in integral relationship with the setting, the shapes very subtly nested one into another, was more like a masterful demonstration of the total image than an exclusively pictorial creation...But it was Jean Metzinger's duty to show us scientifically, that is, deliberately, the result of his research, and winning over the few literate beholders was enough for him…In Paysage, perfectly balanced and purified of any needless chatter, where the forms of houses and trees converged with those of the terrain and the sky in a whole that was classical in the full sense of the word, where the transposition of objects, soberly depicted, made it easy to read, one could assess the considerable contribution his will has given us" (op. cit.).

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