Artist biography

Jean Metzinger 1883-1956

French painter of still life, figures and landscape, born in Nantes. Moved to Paris c.1903. His early paintings influenced by Seurat and Neo-Impressionism. Close friendship c.1905-6 with Robert Delaunay, who was then also painting in a Divisionist style; the two artists often painted together. Met Picasso in 1909 or 1910, and in 1910 published an article on the Cubism of Picasso and Braque. Began to paint in a Cubist style in 1909-10, and was one of the principal organisers of the first large public manifestation of Cubism, at the Salon des Indépendants 1911. In 1912 wrote jointly with Gleizes Du Cubisme, the first book wholly devoted to the movement; also took part in the creation of the Section d'Or. Though he tended to apply Cubist stylisations in a decorative and fundamentally naturalistic way, he was one of the first Cubists to be widely known to the general public. First one-man exhibition with Gleizes and Léger at the Galerie Berthe Weill, Paris, 1913. From c.1915 influenced by the classicising Cubist trend of Gris; in the 1920s, from 1922, turned to a neo-classic, more realistic style, partly influenced by the figure style of Léger. His late works, from 1940, show a partial return to Cubism. Taught at the Académie Frochot 1950-3. Died in Paris.

Published in:
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, p.513