Le Petit Equilibriste, 1914

Jacques Villon

Drypoint

The John R. Van Derlip Fund, 1966 P.13,788

Not on View

Though nearly impossible to decipher, Jacques Villon’s composition portrays a circus equilibrist (acrobat) performing a handstand. The nearly abstract image bears the strong influence of the Cubism of Picasso and Braque, in which forms are fragmented and reassembled in multiple, shifting points of view. Here, Villon creates a complex pattern of alternating dark and light planes that simultaneously describes the subject while heightening the ambiguity of the depicted space. A sense of motion is implied by the flickering arrangement of darks and lights.

Image: No Copyright–United States. The John R. Van Derlip Fund, 1966

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