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Cock on Block

Esteban Francés, Spanish, 1913 - 1976

Made in Mexico, North and Central America


Oil on canvas

21 3/4 x 17 7/8 inches (55.2 x 45.4 cm)

Research inconclusive. Copyright may apply.

Curatorial Department:
European Painting

* Gallery 169, Modern and Contemporary Art, first floor

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Clifford, 1973

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Working in Barcelona for much of the 1930s, Esteban Francés brought an unusual mix of geometric patterning and distorted illusionism to his painting. The artist fought against the Nationalists during the Spanish Civil War, and then was forced into exile in Paris in 1937, where his involvement with Surrealism grew. World War II prompted him, as it did many artists, to leave Europe. Francés went first to Mexico and then the United States. This painting, likely made in New York, suggests an allegory of politics in its depiction of the impending slaughter of a rooster on a chopping block.

* 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.