The Three TreesArtist(s)Jean MetzingerObject Creation Datecirca 1921Medium & Supportoil on canvasDimensions
21 3/8 in. x 28 7/8 in. ( 54.3 cm x 73.3 cm )Credit LineGift of the Estate of Maxine W. Kunstadter in memory of Sigmund Kunstadter, Class of 1922Label copy
March 28, 2009
Metzinger is recognized as one of the first artists to articulate the theories of Cubism. He laid out his ideas in the book Du Cubisme, co-authored in 1912 with Albert Gleizes. In it he explained that Cubist painting was the synthesis of multiple views and experiences over time, which demanded the abandonment of classic one-point perspective. Although these ideas have since been discredited as a misunderstanding and misrepresentation of Picasso’s and Braque’s Cubism and the scientific principles from which they borrowed their concept of time as the fourth dimension, Metzinger was nevertheless instrumental in introducing the contemporary public to Cubism as an artistic movement.
This painting is from a brief period in the early 1920s during which Metzinger abandoned the Cubist style. The expressionistic use of color seen in The Three Trees was a central aspect of his painting practice; it is also what distinguishes his work from that of his Cubist colleagues after 1909 when he began to work in that styleSubject matter
small country villa or village in an abstract landscape whose peripheral wall is lined with three treesPhysical Description
oil painting on canvasPrimary Object Classification Painting Primary Object TypelandscapeRights
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modern and contemporary art