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The Philosopher (Le Philosophe)

Jacques Villon

European Art

Although this work, The Philosopher, developed out of an initial interest in the human form, Jacques Villon gave it a title that evokes the metaphysical realm of the intellect or the incorporeal. The monumentalized figure, swathed in a robe or towel and appearing to hold a newspaper or perhaps a drawing pad, echoes elements from earlier self-portraits and portraits of Villon’s brother, the artist Marcel Duchamp, and may have been based on one of these works.
MEDIUM Oil on canvas
  • Place Made: Europe
  • DATES 1930
    DIMENSIONS 39 5/8 x 31 7/8in. (100.6 x 81cm) Frame: 46 x 37 1/2 in. (116.8 x 95.3 cm) Mount: 8 3/8 x 6 in. (21.3 x 15.3 cm)  (show scale)
    SIGNATURE Signed and dated lower left: "Jacques Villon '30"
    COLLECTIONS European Art
    CREDIT LINE Gift of Gerda Stein
    PROVENANCE Prior to October 1930, provenance not yet documented; October 20, 1930, acquired or exhibited by Brummer Gallery, New York, NY, "Villon" no. 15; between 1930 and 1934, provenance not yet documented; January 8, 1934, acquired or exhibited by Marie Harriman Gallery, New York, "Jacques Villon," no. 21; before June 1934, acquired by Gerda Stein of New York; June 14, 1934, gift of Gerda Stein to the Brooklyn Museum.
    Provenance FAQ
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CAPTION Jacques Villon (French, 1875–1963). The Philosopher (Le Philosophe), 1930. Oil on canvas, 39 5/8 x 31 7/8in. (100.6 x 81cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Gerda Stein, 34.1000. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 34.1000_SL1.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 34.1000_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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    RIGHTS STATEMENT © artist or artist's estate
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