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Still Life with Fish

1928
Louis Marcoussis (Louis Casimir Ladislas Markus), French (born Poland), 1878 - 1941
The Polish-born Cubist painter Louis Marcoussis spent the summer of 1928 working in the seaside resort of Hyères. Unsurprisingly, the artist began at this time to introduce fish and other local products into his still-life paintings, no doubt inspired by the catch of the day that he enjoyed during his sojourn in the Mediterranean port. Like other Cubist still lifes that he made at Hyères, in Still Life with Fish Marcoussis situated the regional fare in a tabletop arrangement. Here the striated fish animate the composition through a series of visual rhymes with the nearby window shutters, stairs, and table legs....

Object Details
Bernard Davis, La France Art Institute, Philadelphia, by 1937 and probably by 1934 [1]; sale, La France Art Institute collection, Samuel T. Freeman & Co., Philadelphia, March 31-April 1, 1937, lot 68, illus.; purchased by Fiske Kimball (1888-1955) and Marie Kimball (1889-1955), Philadelphia; bequest to PMA, 1955.1. Per the 1937 Freeman sale catalogue, the painting was exhibited at the Pennsylvania Museum (later Philadelphia Museum) of Art; probably "Collection of the La France Art Institute (The Bernard Davis Collection)," March 17-April 18, 1934, no. 34 (copy of checklist in curatorial file). Bernard Davis, owner of La France Industries textile mills in Philadelphia, began forming his extensive collection of modern art around 1919, much of it acquired in Paris. He exhibited it at the galleries of the La France Art Institute art school, founded 1923, of which he served as president (see American Art Annual 1923-1937; introduction to Freeman sale catalogue; and R. Sturgis Ingersoll, Henry McCarter, Cambridge, MA, 1944, p. 74).

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