Amédée Ozenfant

Glasses and Bottles


In Tate Modern

Amédée Ozenfant 1886–1966
Original title
Verres et bouteilles
Oil paint on canvas
Support: 727 × 603 mm
frame: 905 × 784 × 60 mm
Purchased 1962

Display caption

Ozenfant applied the principles of classical proportion to everyday, modern subjects. The fluting of the bottles in this painting recalls classical columns, and is echoed in the glasses. The relationships between these objects creates harmony and unity. Ozenfant believed that finding order in the world around us was fundamental to the experience of beauty. He wrote, ‘the greatest human satisfaction is the feeling of collaboration or participation in this order’.

Gallery label, January 2019

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Catalogue entry

Amédée Ozenfant 1886-1966

T00551 Verres et Bouteilles (Glasses and Bottles) c.1922-6

Inscribed 'Ozenfant' b.r.
Oil on canvas, 28 5/8 x 23 3/4 (72.5 x 60.5)
Purchased at Sotheby's (Grant-in-Aid) 1962
Prov: With Léonce Rosenberg, Paris (Galerie de l'Effort Moderne); Dr John Joseph Wardell Power, Jersey, Channel Islands; Power sale, Sotheby's, London, 7 November 1962, lot 43 repr. as 'Nature morte: bouteilles'
Exh: Art and the Machine, University of East Anglia Library, Norwich, November-December 1968 (24, repr.)
Repr: Bulletin de 'L'Effort Moderne', No.27, July 1926, between pp.4 and 5 as 'Verres et Bouteilles 1926'; The Ivory Hammer: The Year at Sotheby's 219th Season 1962-3 (London 1963), p.81

The artist wrote (9 April 1963) that this work appears in his own catalogue as No.30 'Glasses and Bottles' and was sold by him to Léonce Rosenberg on 15 June 1926; he had no record of it ever having been exhibited. No.30B in the catalogue is a related picture 'Glasses and Bottles in Blue' 1922-6 (also repr. in Bulletin de 'L'Effort Moderne', No.27) which is the same size as this work, but has smaller bottles with more space around them and is different in colour. He thought it probable that the Tate Gallery picture was started at about the same time, around 1922, and finished and signed in 1926.

The related picture, which now belongs to Dr and Mrs Leonard Slotover in London, is predominantly pale blue, pale grey and creamy white.

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.579, reproduced p.579

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