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Charcoal, pastel, black wash, and graphite on buff paperexpand_more
The P.D. MacMillan Memorial Fundexpand_more 2016.54
Mia’s Collection Development Plan calls for improving our holdings of Cubist works. This is a vibrant and appealing Cubist portrait by an underappreciated artist. It exemplifies many of the innovations of the Cubist movement during the feverishly experimental years leading up to World War I that revolutionized the artistic scene in Paris. Felix del Marle followed Picasso’s lead in breaking down the subject—fracturing its form—in order to provide the viewer with multiple points of view simultaneously. Here we see the man’s face straight-on to the left and in profile at the right. Del Marle increases the vibrancy of the image by contrasting the dappled spots with hard-edge form and flat application of color, partially dissolving the distinction between background and foreground. While a stunning Cubist work, the obscurity of the artist works in our favor—the price is less than five percent of what a significant Picasso or Braque drawing of the period would cost.
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