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Tea Time (Woman with a Teaspoon)

Jean Metzinger (French, 1883–1956)
When this painting was first shown at the 1911 Salon d’Automne in Paris, the prominent art critic André Salmon dubbed it “The Mona Lisa of Cubism.” While Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque were moving even further toward the dematerialization of the figure in their canvases of 1911, Metzinger remained resolutely committed to legibility in Tea Time, where a seated woman, holding a teaspoon suspended between cup and mouth, is clearly discernible within a geometric environment. The artist does, however, show the teacup in profile and from above to demonstrate the new art’s mobile perspectives.

Object Details

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