Seated Harlequin (1923) by Juan Gris

Seated Harlequin - Juan Gris - 1923

Artwork Information

TitleSeated Harlequin
ArtistJuan Gris
Dimensions73 x 92 cm
Art MovementCubism
Current LocationPrivate Collection

About Seated Harlequin

The artwork “Seated Harlequin,” created in 1923 by artist Juan Gris, is an oil on canvas that exemplifies the Cubist movement. Measuring 73 x 92 cm, it is a portrait genre piece that currently resides in a private collection. This painting characteristically displays the fragmented and geometric forms associated with Cubism, providing an analytical reinterpretation of natural forms.

In the artwork, the figure of the Harlequin is depicted in a seated position, engaging directly with the viewer through its frontward gaze. The Harlequin’s costume features a dynamic array of colors and patterns, indicative of the character’s traditional attire, yet reimagined through the geometrical language of Cubism. The surrounding environment is likewise fractured into abstract shapes, with areas of shading and color blockings that suggest depth and volume. The face of the Harlequin, while simplified, conveys an enigmatic expression, consistent with the intrigue often surrounding this character in theatrical settings.

Juan Gris’s use of bold, defined lines and contrasting colors contributes to the distinctively structured harmony of the picture. The angular forms within the composition, although abstract, still hint at recognizable object shapes, such as the table or chair the Harlequin might be using. This innovative representation exemplifies the Cubist approach to exploring the essence of reality through the facets of shape and perspective.

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