André Masson born 1896 [- 1987]
N05646 Ibdès de Aragon (Ibdes in Aragon) 1935
Inscribed 'André Masson | 1935' b.r.
Oil on canvas, 25 5/8 x 36 3/8 (60 x 92.5)
Presented by the Contemporary Art Society 1946
Prov: With Galerie Simon, Paris (purchased from the artist); Sir Kenneth Clark, London, 1937; presented by him to the CAS 1944
Exh: André Masson: Espagne, 1934-6, Galerie Simon, Paris, December 1936 (24); Acquisitions of the CAS, Tate Gallery, September-October 1946 (40); André Masson, Musée National d'Art Moderne, Paris, March-May 1965 (30, repr.); André Masson, Gemeentelijke Casino, Knokke-Le Zoute, July-September 1969 (17, repr.)
Lit: Jean-Paul Clébert (ed.), Mythologie d'André Masson (Geneva 1971), p.49, repr. pl.90
Repr: M. Leiris and G. Limbour, André Masson and his Universe (Geneva-Paris-London 1947), p.65; Mervyn Levy, Painting for All (London 1958), facing p.33 in colour
Also known as 'Spanish Landscape'. Masson spent 1934 to 1936 in Spain, for the most part at Tossa de Mar, a fishing port in Catalonia, but he also made several expeditions on foot into Andalousia and Aragon. It was in the course of one of these journeys that he visited Ibdes, a village on the left bank of the Mesa, south of Ateca.
Note the Surrealist double-images of the cocks woven into the landscape and the crocodile formed by the rocks in the background. The artist states of his paintings inspired by particular places in Spain: 'They were developed from very closely observed drawings like those made in the 19th century, such as those by Turner, but in these completely recognisable landscapes there is always an element of fantasy, either in the sky, or on the ground, or underground.' (Mythologie d'André Masson, loc. cit.).
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, pp.489-90, reproduced p.489