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Metzinger, Jean (1883-1956) - Head of a Woman | by RasMarley
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Metzinger, Jean (1883-1956) - Head of a Woman

Jean Metzinger was born in Nantes where he also spent his entire youth. He enjoyed a thorough education and attended painting classes under Hypolitte Touront, a well-known portrait painter who taught an academic, conventional style of painting. Metzinger, however, was interested in the current changes in painting. He loved the neo-impressionist innovations, the abandonment of shading and mixing colors. When he sent his first oil paintings to Paris the response was so positive that he was soon invited to exhibit three works in a presentation of independent artists at the "Salon des Indépendants".


His immediate success brought about the decision to move to Paris where he could benefit from the fertile artistic world. He continued working in a neo-impressionist style, which he developed to mosaic-like color patterns between 1905 and 1908 . These late neo-impressionist paintings with their patches of color placed accurately one next to the other, already point towards his later Cubist works: they reveal an inclination for construction and a clear structure. His style became increasingly geometric and his new artistic interpretations are influenced by Braque, Picasso and Gris. Metzinger's works around 1909 finally document a move towards what was later referred to as analytical Cubism, but was initially rejected completely by the critics.


Metzinger documented his theories in his "Comments about Painting" in 1910. He worked together with Albert Gleizes in 1912 with whom he published the theoretical treatise "Du Cubisme" which was soon much discussed. Metzinger was appointed to teach at the Académie de la Palette, later the Académie Arenius. Numerous exhibitions document the painter's national and international success. During the 1920s Metzinger briefly abandoned Cubism. He lived in Bandol in Provence until 1943 and then returned to Paris where he was given a teaching post for three years at the Académie Frochot in 1950.

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Taken on April 28, 2006