Portrait of Jacques Nayral
(also known as Portrait de Jacques Nayral
) is a large oil painting created in 1911 by the French artist, theorist and writer Albert Gleizes
(1881–1953). It was exhibited in Paris at the Salon d'Automne
of 1911 (no. 609), the Salon de la Section d'Or
, 1912 (no. 38), and reproduced in Du "Cubisme"
written by Jean Metzinger
and Albert Gleizes in 1912, the first and only manifesto on Cubism
. Metzinger in 1911 described Gleizes' painting as 'a great portrait'. Portrait of Jacques Nayral
, one of Gleizes' first major Cubist works, while still 'readable' in the figurative
sense, exemplifies the mobile, dynamic fragmentation of form characteristic of Cubism
at the outset of 1911. Highly sophisticated in theory and in practice, this aspect of simultaneity
would soon become identified with the practices of the Section d'Or
. Here Gleizes deploys these techniques in a radical, personal and coherent manner.
Jacques Nayral (a pseudonym for Joseph Houot) was a young modernist poet, dramatist, publisher and occasional sports writer, who shared with Gleizes a passion for the theories of Henri Bergson
. He was a friend of Gleizes and married his sister Mireille in 1912. Gleizes began work on his portrait in 1910. The interfusion and interrelation between the sitter and the background of the painting reflect Bergson’s concepts about the simultaneity of experience. It was avant-garde
works such as this widely exhibited portrait that fed the public outcry against Cubism. "Its scale echoes the large-scale paintings of the official exhibitions, while its style subverts that tradition". (Tate Modern) Read more...