Yvonne Duchamp, Full-Face
Jacques Villon (Gaston Duchamp), French, 1875 - 1963
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Of the three monumental drypoint portraits of his sister Yvonne, this is the one in which Villon used the most radical application of his system of constructing space and volumes of pyramidal shapes. This system was based on Villon's reading of Leonardo da Vinci's Treatise on Painting. Here, his method of dividing the composition into geometric segments of various shapes allows the almost seamless merging of the figure and the background. Although the sitter's head and body may still clearly be discerned in the patchwork of shapes, they may equally be read as part and parcel of their surroundings.