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Sketch for "Puteaux (Smoke and Trees in Bloom, No. 2)"

1912
Jacques Villon (Gaston Duchamp), French, 1875 - 1963
One of Villon’s most important early Cubist paintings was a large landscape with a nude reclining across the foreground, entitled Puteaux (Smoke and Trees in Bloom). Villon created a composition filled with a complex panoply of geometric forms that were imbued with rhythmic movement. It was his usual method to begin a work by starting with sketches from nature and moving gradually toward abstraction. For this painting, he made four small sketches, each focusing on areas of the final painting that were somewhat more naturalistic in style. All four sketches, including this one depicting flowering trees against a spring-green background, were exhibited in the New York Armory Show of 1913....

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