- Jean Metzinger
- Coupe de fruits verts et enveloppe
- Signed with the artist's monogram (lower right)
- Oil on canvas
- 29 by 21 3/8 in.
- 73.7 by 54.3 cm
Andrew & Geraldine Fuller, Fort Worth, Texas and New York (acquired before 1970)
Bequested from the Estate of Geraldine Spreckels Fuller to the present owner in 1999
In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.
Coupe de fruits verts et enveloppeembodies the artistic principles that Metzinger put forth in his seminal essay. The vessels, implements and fruit on the table, as well as the interactions of these objects with light and surfaces, are defined solely by the juxtaposition of varying hues of color and by contrasting brushstrokes and patterns. Metzinger has succeeded in creating active space throughout the entire picture plane such that the textured red table top appears to recede into the background without leaving its contents suspended unnaturally in space. The influences of Picasso and Gris inform the painting, particularly in the skillful rendering of faux-bois textures, but the exploration of temporality is particular to Metzinger. The carte de visite placed amid the objects on the table top provides a semiotic gesture of Synthetic cubism and reveals the significance of this movement to the birth of Modernism. The address on the envelope reads "121 Aven" - a reference to the artist's Parisian home between 1916 and 1929, 121 Avenue Félix Faures. Indeed, Coupe de fruits verts et enveloppe was created at a moment when the artist "became much more interested in bold patterning and decorative detail, and was more likely to integrate typography into the composition [...] Small circular forms, representing pipe bowls, bottle openings, cup rims, clocks, fruit, or simple dot patterns, unite various areas of the composition, at times suggesting witty visual puns, such as eyes or olives" (Joann Moser, Jean Metzinger in Retrospect (exhibition catalogue), Iowa City, 1985, p. 45).
Lots 133 and 134, being sold by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation to benefit future acquisitions, previously held honorable positions in the collection of Andrew and Geraldine Fuller, Fort Worth, Texas and New York. Guided by the insightful vision of Geraldine, the Fullers amassed a notable collection of Modern masterpieces. The works remained in the estate of Geraldine Spreckels Fuller until 1999.
Fig. 1 Jean Metzinger, Tea Time (Woman with a Teaspoon), 1911, oil on cardboard, Philadelphia Museum of Art