A Gleizes Painting for the McNay Art Museum

Albert Gleizes (1881-1953)
Portrait of Madame H. M. Barzun, 1911
Oil and graphite on canvas
San Antonio, McNay Art Museum
Photo : 2014 ARS, New York / ADAGP, Paris

5/3/14 - Acquisition - San Antonio, McNay Art Museum - The portrait of Mrs. Barzun painted by Albert Gleizes in 1911 recently joined the collections at the McNay Art Museum in San Antonio, bequeathed by the model’s son, Jacques Barzun (1907-2012). Stylistically, it is very close to another Cubist portrait, that of Jacques Nayral painted by the artist the same year (London, Tate Modern).
Anne Rose Barzun was the wife of the writer Henri-Martin Barzun who, along with Gleizes joined in the experimental commune at the Abbaye de Créteil from 1906 to 1908. The couple left for the United States in 1918 where their son Jacques, a historian and philosopher became an eminent scholar, settling in San Antonio in 1996.

The work’s production date is important as 1911 was the year Cubism was revealed to the general public at the Salon des Indépendants with works by Albert Gleizes, Roger de La Fresnaye, Henri Le Fauconnier, Fernand Léger, Jean Meztinger, Robert Delaunay... who were to be nicknamed "les cubistes des Salons" while Picasso and Braque chose to remain independent. The Puteaux group, associated with Cubism despite the absence of the movement’s two initiators, met in Jacques Villon’s studio and organized the first Salon de la Section d’Or in 1912, the year when Gleizes and Metzinger published Du Cubisme.

This work joins four canvases by Gleizes and others by Picasso residing at the McNay Museum, whose initial holdings, from the collection of the painter, Marion Koogler McNay (1883-1950) focused on French Post-Impressionist and the Ecole de Paris.

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Bénédicte Bonnet Saint-Georges, mercredi 5 mars 2014

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