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

Jacques Villon (Gaston Duchamp), French, 1875 - 1963

Made in France, Europe


Oil on canvas

18 1/4 x 21 3/4 inches (46.3 x 55.2 cm)

© Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

Curatorial Department:
European Painting

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
The Louise and Walter Arensberg Collection, 1950

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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.