Art

Divisionism, Cubism, and Jean Metzinger

A study of Jean Metzinger, the French artist painting at the beginning of the 20th century, incorporates a number of ‘isms in his work. Early in his career, his influences were those of the post-impressionists, in particular, the works of Seurat. Pointillism came out of the color studies of the time and gradually developed into the Divisionism of the Fauvists. Divisionism, not nearly as scientific as Pointillism, became points or dots of “wild” color in larger size. (Technically, Divisionism simply refers to the separation of the colors.) In using the styles of the Fauvists, images became detached from natural or local color.

 

A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, Oil on Canvas, Art Institute of Chicago, Georges Seurat,

A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, Oil on Canvas, Art Institute of Chicago, Georges Seurat, 1884-86.

 

Le Bonheur de Vivre, Oil on canvas, Henri Matisse, 1905-6.

Le Bonheur de Vivre, Oil on canvas, Henri Matisse, 1905-6.

 

Later, in the second decade of the 20th century, he with another colleague pinned a treatise on Cubism and became an important adherent of the movement as soon as it began. He, as it is told in many history books, came upon Cubism through an examination of the works of Cezanne.

 

Still Life, Drapery, Pitcher, and Fruit Bowl, Oil on Canvas, Paul Cezanne,1893–1894.

Still Life, Drapery, Pitcher, and Fruit Bowl, Oil on Canvas, Paul Cezanne,1893–1894.

 

One of the remarkable things about Metzinger is his absence after 1920. Actually, he switched from Cubism and began a different style, at least this is what is said. However, it is difficult to find works through the Internet after this period. I suppose an old-fashioned march down to the library might elucidate the reasons for this predicament.

Nevertheless, up until this time, his works were referred to as Crystal Cubism. Click the link to find out the arcane nature of this elaboration of Cubism.

 

Femme au Miroir (Lady at her Dressing Table), Oil on Canvas, Jean Metzinger, 1916.

Femme au Miroir (Lady at her Dressing Table), Oil on Canvas, Jean Metzinger, 1916. (Example of Crystal Cubism.)

 

Here is a video of a few of his works:

 

 

If one follows this blog, one knows that occasionally, in order to study an artist, style, or movement, I paint an image in a manner to facilitate a deeper understanding. Therefore, even though I have done pastel drawings in the manner of the cubists, I will attempt to do two paintings, one in the manner of the Divisionist Fauvists and one in the manner of the Crystal Cubists, both in oil. I will post them as soon as possible.

 

HBosler

Fragmented Portrait, Watercolor on Paper, Howard Bosler, 2010.

Fragmented Portrait, Watercolor on Paper, Howard Bosler, 2010.

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