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Yvonne and Magdeleine Torn in Tatters

Marcel Duchamp, American (born France), 1887 - 1968

Made in France, Europe


Oil on canvas

23 3/4 x 28 7/8 inches (60.3 x 73.3 cm) Framed: 25 5/8 x 30 3/4 x 2 1/8 inches (65.1 x 78.1 x 5.4 cm)

S© Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris / Estate of Marcel Duchamp

Curatorial Department:
European Painting

* Gallery 182, Modern and Contemporary Art, first floor (d’Harnoncourt Gallery)

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
The Louise and Walter Arensberg Collection, 1950

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Duchamp created this composition from the floating forms of his younger sisters' profiles, paying close attention to their distinctive Roman noses and their long curly hair, which he rendered like cascading bunches of grapes. The disjunctions in scale between the four profiles, two for each sister, as well as the careful distribution of their forms over the entire canvas recall the torn or cut up pieces of paper that Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque used in their Cubist collages, as Duchamp humorously alludes to in the title, which suggests that his sisters have been similarly "torn in tatters."

* Works in the collection are moved off view for many different reasons. Although gallery locations on the website are updated regularly, there is no guarantee that this object will be on display on the day of your visit.

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