Jean Metzinger

French (1883 - 1956)
Jean Metzinger Paysage [Landscape] About 1921 © ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2017.


Born 1883
Died 1956
Nationality French
Birth place Nantes
Death place Paris

French artist and writer Jean Metzinger was born in Nantes, where he studied, before moving to Paris in 1903. Metzinger painted in a fauvist style early in his career, before adopting the geometric patterning and angular planes of Cubism around 1910 to 1912. Metzinger was one of the first artists to experiment with Cubism, though his style was always rooted in naturalism. He is perhaps still best known for the influential book on Cubism which he co-wrote with Albert Gleizes in 1912, and which was the first theoretical study of the movement.

Glossary terms

  • An offshoot of Impressionism in which light effects were subject to a greater methodical analysis and paintings were composed with greater formality. Artists associated with this movement include Georges Seurat, Paul Signac and Camille Pissarro

  • A loosely affiliated group of artists working in Paris in the early years of the twentieth century up to the Second World War. The term initially referred specifically to non-French artists who had settled in the city but was later used more generally. Artists associated with group are regarded as innovators of modern art, working in styles as diverse as Fauvism, Cubism, Surrealism and Abstract Art. They include Picasso, Matisse, Chagall and Modigliani.