Marcoussis Louis



gouache, paper

31,9 × 48,9 cm

the piece attached to the cardboard 45 × 62 cm

signed upper right: „MARCOUSSIS”, in the upper right corner of the cardboard an inscription: „Chester Dale No 17”; on the back a label from Gres Gallery



  • Chester Dale collection, Washington
  • J. Wanamaker, Washington
  • Gres Gallery, New York, Washington

The cubistic formula of Marcoussis’ imaging underwent a transformation in the years 1920–1924, when following the trail of Picasso, the artist simplified the composition while caring for the workshop’s perfection of drawing. Both the human figure and the subject elements have been defined with a distinctive contour. An important role was played by spatial relations between overlapping and interpenetrating planes with homogeneous colors.

After the war break, Marcoussis created a series of gouaches. Sharp geometric forms harmonize here with organic forms. Paintings kept in warm tones of valuable brown- -contrasted, typical of Marcoussis, with cold gray-blue parts. Variety of textures the artist obtained through a conscious selection of the trace of the brush and sculptural scratching patterns in wet paint.

The period of the interwar in the artist’s work is a time of color experiments. They are one of the most important determinants of the originality of his style. Classic cubism generally operated with a darkened palette of colors, while Marcoussis willingly used intense, contrasting colors.