Nude Descending a Staircase (No. 1)

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

Made in France, Europe


Oil on cardboard on panel

37 3/4 × 23 3/4 inches (95.9 × 60.3 cm) Framed: 41 1/2 × 27 1/8 × 3 inches (105.4 × 68.9 × 7.6 cm)

© Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris / Succession 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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Addressing what he later called “the problem of motion in painting,” Marcel Duchamp here repeats elements of the nude’s body in her final steps down a precipitous spiral staircase. This evocation of elapsed time in a static composition resonates with the Futurist works of Giacomo Balla, Gino Severini, and others. However, by 1911 Duchamp was closely involved with the circle of artists gathering regularly in the Paris suburb of Puteaux. Other artists who belonged to the Puteaux Group included Fernand Léger, Robert Delaunay, and Josef Csaky.

* 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.