Section d'Or
   HOME

TheInfoList




The Section d'Or ("Golden Section"), also known as Groupe de Puteaux or Puteaux Group, was a collective of
painters Painting is the practice of applying paint Paint is any pigmented liquid A liquid is a nearly incompressible In fluid mechanics or more generally continuum mechanics, incompressible flow (isochoric process, isochoric flow) refe ...

painters
, sculptors, poets and critics associated with
Cubism Cubism is an early-20th-century avant-garde The avant-garde (; In 'advance guard' or 'vanguard', literally 'fore-guard') are people or works that are experimental, Wikt:radical#Adjective, radical, or unorthodox with respect to The arts, art ...
and Orphism. Based in the Parisian suburbs, the group held regular meetings at the home of the Duchamp brothers in
Puteaux Puteaux () is a commune A commune is an intentional community of people sharing living spaces, interests, values, beliefs, and often property Property (''latin: Res Privata'') in the Abstract and concrete, abstract is what belongs to o ...
and at the studio of
Albert Gleizes Albert Gleizes (; 8 December 1881 – 23 June 1953) was a major 20th-century French artist, theoretician, philosopher, a self-proclaimed founder of Cubism Cubism is an early-20th-century avant-garde The avant-garde (; In 'advance guard' ...
in
Courbevoie Courbevoie () is a commune A commune is an intentional community of people sharing living spaces, interests, values, beliefs, and often property Property (''latin: Res Privata'') in the Abstract and concrete, abstract is what belongs t ...
. Active from 1911 to around 1914, members of the collective came to prominence in the wake of their controversial showing at the
Salon des Indépendants Salon may refer to: * Beauty salon A beauty salon or beauty parlor is an establishment dealing with Cosmetics, cosmetic treatments for men and women. There's a difference between a beauty salon and a beauty parlor which is that a beauty salon ...

Salon des Indépendants
in the spring of 1911. This showing by
Albert Gleizes Albert Gleizes (; 8 December 1881 – 23 June 1953) was a major 20th-century French artist, theoretician, philosopher, a self-proclaimed founder of Cubism Cubism is an early-20th-century avant-garde The avant-garde (; In 'advance guard' ...
,
Jean Metzinger Jean Dominique Antony Metzinger (; 24 June 1883 – 3 November 1956) was a major 20th-century French painter, theorist, writer, critic and poet, who along with Albert Gleizes Albert Gleizes (; 8 December 1881 – 23 June 1953) was a major 20 ...
,
Robert Delaunay Robert Delaunay (12 April 1885 – 25 October 1941) was a French artist who, with his wife Sonia Delaunay and others, co-founded the Orphism (art), Orphism art movement, noted for its use of strong colours and geometric shapes. His later works wer ...
,
Henri le Fauconnier Henri Victor Gabriel Le Fauconnier (July 5, 1881 – December 25, 1946) was a French Cubist Cubism is an early-20th-century avant-garde The avant-garde (; In 'advance guard' or ' vanguard', literally 'fore-guard') are people or works that ...
,
Fernand Léger Joseph Fernand Henri Léger (; February 4, 1881 – August 17, 1955) was a French painter Painting is the practice of applying paint Paint is any pigmented liquid, liquefiable, or solid mastic composition that, after application to a ...

Fernand Léger
and
Marie Laurencin Marie Laurencin (31 October 1883 – 8 June 1956) was a French painter and printmaker. She became an important figure in the Parisian avant-garde The avant-garde (; In 'advance guard' or '', literally 'fore-guard') are people or works that a ...
(at the request of
Apollinaire Guillaume Apollinaire (; 26 August 1880 – 9 November 1918) (born as ''Wilhelm Albert Włodzimierz Apolinary de Wąż-Kostrowicki'') was a French poet A poet is a person who creates poetry Poetry (derived from the Greek language ...

Apollinaire
), created a scandal that brought Cubism to the attention of the general public for the first time. The Salon de la Section d'Or, held October 1912—the largest and most important public showing of Cubist works prior to World War I—exposed Cubism to a wider audience still. After the war, with support given by the dealer
Léonce Rosenberg Léonce Rosenberg (12 September 1879 in Paris Paris () is the Capital city, capital and List of communes in France with over 20,000 inhabitants, most populous city of France, with an estimated population of 2,175,601 residents as of 2018, in ...
, Cubism returned to the front line of Parisian artistic activity. Various elements of the Groupe de Puteaux would mount two more large-scale Section d'Or exhibitions, in 1920 and in 1925, with the goal of revealing the complete process of transformation and renewal that had transpired since the onset of Cubism. The group seems to have adopted the name "Section d'Or" as both an homage to the mathematical harmony associated with
Georges Seurat Georges Pierre Seurat ( , , ; 2 December 1859 – 29 March 1891) was a French post-Impressionist artist. He is best known for devising the painting techniques known as chromoluminarism and pointillism Pointillism (, ) is a technique of pai ...
, and to distinguish themselves from the narrower style of Cubism developed in parallel by
Pablo Picasso Pablo Ruiz Picasso (25 October 1881 – 8 April 1973) was a Spanish painter, sculptor, printmaker 300px, Rembrandt, ''Self-portrait'', etching">Self-portrait.html" ;"title="Rembrandt, ''Self-portrait">Rembrandt, ''Self-portrait'', et ...

Pablo Picasso
and
Georges Braque Georges Braque ( , ; 13 May 1882 – 31 August 1963) was a major 20th-century French painter This is a list of French people, French painters sorted alphabetically and by the century in which the painter was most active. alphabetically ...
in the
Montmartre Montmartre ( , , ) is a large hill in 18th arrondissement of Paris, Paris's 18th arrondissement. It is high and gives its name to the surrounding district, part of the Rive Droite, Right Bank in the northern section of the city. The histori ...

Montmartre
quarter of Paris. In addition, the name was to highlight that Cubism, rather than being an isolated art-form, represented the continuation of a grand tradition; indeed, the
golden ratio In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers ( and ), formulas and related structures (), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (), and quantities and their changes ( and ). There is no ...

golden ratio
, or golden section (french: Section d'Or), had fascinated Western intellectuals of diverse interests for at least 2,400 years.


History

The Puteaux Group (an offshoot of ''la
Société Normande de Peinture Moderne The Société Normande de Peinture Moderne, also known as ''Société de Peinture Moderne'', or alternatively, ''Normand Society of Modern Painting'', was a collective of eminent Painting, painters, sculptors, poets, musicians and critics associat ...
'') organized their first exhibition under the name ''Salon de la Section d'Or'' at the ''Galerie La Boétie'' in Paris, October 1912.
Albert Gleizes Albert Gleizes (; 8 December 1881 – 23 June 1953) was a major 20th-century French artist, theoretician, philosopher, a self-proclaimed founder of Cubism Cubism is an early-20th-century avant-garde The avant-garde (; In 'advance guard' ...
and
Jean Metzinger Jean Dominique Antony Metzinger (; 24 June 1883 – 3 November 1956) was a major 20th-century French painter, theorist, writer, critic and poet, who along with Albert Gleizes Albert Gleizes (; 8 December 1881 – 23 June 1953) was a major 20 ...
, in preparation for the Salon de la Section d'Or, published a major defense of Cubism, resulting in the first theoretical essay on the new movement, entitled ''
Du "Cubisme" ''Du "Cubisme"'', also written ''Du Cubisme'', or ''Du « Cubisme »'' (and in English, ''On Cubism'' or ''Cubism''), is a book written in 1912 by Albert Gleizes and Jean Metzinger. This was the first major text on Cubism, predating ''The Cubist P ...
'' (published by Eugène Figuière in 1912, translated to English and Russian in 1913).From ''Du Cubisme'', Paris, 1912, pp. 9-11, 13-14, 17-21, 25-32. In English in Robert L. Herbert, ''Modern Artists on Art'', Englewood Cliffs, 1964, PDF
Art Humanities Primary Source Reading 46
Following the 1911 Salon exhibitions, the group formed by Le Fauconnier, Metzinger, Gleizes, Léger and R. Delaunay expanded to include several other artists;
Alexander Archipenko Alexander Porfyrovych Archipenko (also referred to as Olexandr, Oleksandr, or Aleksandr; uk, Олександр Порфирович Архипенко, Romanized: Olexandr Porfyrovych Arkhypenko; February 25, 1964) was a Ukrainian and American ...
,
Joseph Csaky Joseph Csaky (also written Josef Csàky, Csáky József, József Csáky and Joseph Alexandre Czaky) (18 March 1888 – 1 May 1971) was a Hungarian avant-garde The avant-garde (; In 'advance guard' or 'vanguard', literally 'fore-guard') are ...
,
Roger de La Fresnaye Roger de La Fresnaye (; 11 July 1885 – 27 November 1925) was a French Cubist Painting, painter. Early years and education La Fresnaye was born in Le Mans where his father, an officer in the French army, was temporarily stationed. The La Fresnay ...

Roger de La Fresnaye
,
Juan Gris José Victoriano (Carmelo Carlos) González-Pérez (23 March 1887 – 11 May 1927), better known as Juan Gris (; ), was a Spanish painter born in Madrid Madrid ( , ) is the capital and most populous city of Spain , image_flag ...

Juan Gris
, and
Jean Marchand Jean Marchand, (December 20, 1918 – August 28, 1988) was a French Canadian public figure, trade unionist and politician in Quebec, Canada. Life and career During the 1949 Asbestos Strike in Quebec, Marchand led the striking workers as sec ...
, who were virtually unknown to the public before the Salon des Indépendants of 1911, began to frequent Puteaux and Courbevoie.
František Kupka František Kupka (23 September 1871 – 24 June 1957), also known as ''Frank Kupka'' or ''François Kupka,'' was a Czech Czech may refer to: * Anything from or related to the Czech Republic The Czech Republic (; cs, Česká republika ) ...
had lived in Puteaux for several years in the same complex as Jacques Villon.
Francis Picabia Francis Picabia (: born Francis-Marie Martinez de Picabia; 22January 1879 – 30November 1953) was a French avant-garde painter, poet and typographist. After experimenting with Impressionism and Pointillism, Picabia became associated with Cubism. ...

Francis Picabia
was introduced to the circle, perhaps by
Guillaume Apollinaire Guillaume Apollinaire (; 26 August 1880 – 9 November 1918) (born as ''Wilhelm Albert Włodzimierz Apolinary de Wąż-Kostrowicki'') was a French poet A poet is a person who creates poetry Poetry (derived from the Greek language ...

Guillaume Apollinaire
(usually accompanied by
Marie Laurencin Marie Laurencin (31 October 1883 – 8 June 1956) was a French painter and printmaker. She became an important figure in the Parisian avant-garde The avant-garde (; In 'advance guard' or '', literally 'fore-guard') are people or works that a ...
) with whom he had recently become friendly. Most importantly was the contact established with Metzinger and the Duchamp brothers, who exhibited under the names of Jacques Villon, Marcel Duchamp and Duchamp-Villon. The opening address was given by Apollinaire. The participation of many of these artists in the formation of ''Les Artistes de Passy'' in October 1912 was an attempt to transform the Passy district of Paris into yet another art-centre; a further sign of a growing emphasis on communal activity that would culminate in the Section d'Or exhibit.The History and Chronology of Cubism, p. 5
/ref>


Origins of the term

The idea of the Section d'Or originated in the course of conversations between Gleizes, Metzinger and Jacques Villon. The group's title was suggested by Villon, after reading a 1910 translation of
Leonardo da Vinci Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci (15 April 14522 May 1519) was an Italian of the who was active as a painter, , engineer, scientist, theorist, sculptor and architect. While his fame initially rested on his achievements as a painter, he als ...

Leonardo da Vinci
's ''
A Treatise on Painting ''A Treatise on Painting'' (''Trattato della pittura'') is a collection of Leonardo da Vinci Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci (15 April 14522 May 1519) was an Italian of the who was active as a painter, , engineer, scientist, theorist, ...
'' by
Joséphin Péladan Joséphin Péladan (28 March 1858 in Lyon Lyon or Lyons (, , ; frp, Liyon, ) is the third-largest city and second-largest urban area of France. It is located at the confluence of the rivers Rhône The Rhône ( , ; german: Rhone ; w ...

Joséphin Péladan
. Péladan attached great
mystical Mysticism is popularly known as becoming one with God or the Absolute, but may refer to any kind of ecstasy Ecstasy may refer to: * Ecstasy (emotion), a trance or trance-like state in which a person transcends normal consciousness * Religious ...
significance to the
golden section In mathematics, two quantities are in the golden ratio if their ratio is the same as the ratio of their summation, sum to the larger of the two quantities. Expressed algebraically, for quantities a and b with a > b > 0, where the Greek let ...
(french: nombre d'or), and other similar geometric configurations. For Villon, this symbolized his belief in order and the significance of
mathematical Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers (arithmetic and number theory), formulas and related structures (algebra), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (geometry), and quantities and their changes (cal ...
proportions, because it reflected patterns and relationships occurring in nature. Jean Metzinger and the Duchamp brothers were passionately interested in mathematics. Jean Metzinger, Juan Gris and possibly Marcel Duchamp at this time were associates of
Maurice Princet Maurice Princet (1875 – October 23, 1973) was a French people, French mathematician and actuary who played a role in the birth of cubism. He was an associate of Pablo Picasso, Guillaume Apollinaire, Max Jacob, Jean Metzinger, and Marcel Duchamp. H ...
, an amateur mathematician credited for introducing profound and rational scientific arguments into Cubist discussions. The name 'Section d'Or' represented simultaneously a continuity with past traditions and current trends in related fields, while leaving open future developments in the arts. Art historian Daniel Robbins argued that in addition to referencing the mathematical ''golden section'', the term associated with the Salon Cubists also refers to the name of the earlier ''Bandeaux d'Or'' group, with which
Albert Gleizes Albert Gleizes (; 8 December 1881 – 23 June 1953) was a major 20th-century French artist, theoretician, philosopher, a self-proclaimed founder of Cubism Cubism is an early-20th-century avant-garde The avant-garde (; In 'advance guard' ...
and other former members of the
Abbaye de Créteil L'Abbaye de Créteil or Abbaye group (french: Le Groupe de l'Abbaye) was a utopian A utopia ( ) typically describes an imaginary community A community is a social unitThe term "level of analysis" is used in the social sciences to point to th ...
had been deeply involved.Roger Allard, ''Sur quelques peintre'', Les Marches du Sud-Ouest, June 1911, pp. 57-64. In Mark Antliff and Patricia Leighten, ''A Cubism Reader, Documents and Criticism, 1906-1914'', The University of Chicago Press, 2008, pp. 178-191, 330


Salon de la Section d'Or, 1912

The 1912 Salon de la Section d'Or was arguably the most important pre-World War I Cubist exhibition. In the previous year the Cubists and a large number of their associates had exhibited at the ''Galerie de l'Art Contemporain'' (rue Tronchet, Paris) under the auspices of the ''
Société Normande de Peinture Moderne The Société Normande de Peinture Moderne, also known as ''Société de Peinture Moderne'', or alternatively, ''Normand Society of Modern Painting'', was a collective of eminent Painting, painters, sculptors, poets, musicians and critics associat ...
''. This exhibition had received some attention in the press (''l'Autorité'' and ''Paris Journal''), though due to the diversity of the works presented it had been referred to as an ''exposition des fauves et cubistes''. The ''Salon de la Section d'Or'', however, was generally accepted as being entirely Cubist in nature. Over 200 works were displayed, and the fact that many of the artists showed artworks representative of their development from 1909 to 1912 gave the exhibition the allure of a Cubist retrospective. Though the ''Salle 41'' Cubists had been surprised by the highly impassioned reactions generated by the 1911 Salon des Indépendants showing, they appear to have been eager to attract as much attention as possible with the ''Salon de la Section d'Or''. The inauguration was held from nine until midnight, for which the only precedent was the opening of the 1903 ''Salon d'Automne''. Invitations were widely diffused prior to the show, and many of the guests had to be turned away on opening night (9 October 1912). Lectures by Apollinaire, Hourcade and Raynal were advertised, and a review, ''La Section d'Or'', was published to coincide with the ''Vernissage''; with contributions by
Guillaume Apollinaire Guillaume Apollinaire (; 26 August 1880 – 9 November 1918) (born as ''Wilhelm Albert Włodzimierz Apolinary de Wąż-Kostrowicki'') was a French poet A poet is a person who creates poetry Poetry (derived from the Greek language ...

Guillaume Apollinaire
, Roger Allard, René Blum, Olivier Hourcade, Max Jacob, Maurice Raynal, Pierre Reverdy, André Salmon, :fr:André Warnod, André Warnod and others.La Section d'Or, Numéro spécial, 9 Octobre 1912
/ref> The fact that the 1912 exhibition had been curated to show the successive stages through which Cubism had transited, and that
Du "Cubisme" ''Du "Cubisme"'', also written ''Du Cubisme'', or ''Du « Cubisme »'' (and in English, ''On Cubism'' or ''Cubism''), is a book written in 1912 by Albert Gleizes and Jean Metzinger. This was the first major text on Cubism, predating ''The Cubist P ...
had been published for the occasion, indicates the artists' intention of making their work comprehensible to a wide audience (art critics, art collectors, art dealers and the general public). Undoubtedly, due to the great success of the exhibition, Cubism became recognized as a tendency, genre or style in art with a specific common philosophy or goal: a new avant-garde movement.


Selected works; 1912 exhibition

File:Juan Gris - Man in a Café.jpg,
Juan Gris José Victoriano (Carmelo Carlos) González-Pérez (23 March 1887 – 11 May 1927), better known as Juan Gris (; ), was a Spanish painter born in Madrid Madrid ( , ) is the capital and most populous city of Spain , image_flag ...

Juan Gris
, 1912, ''Man in a Café'', oil on canvas, 127.6 x 88.3 cm, Philadelphia Museum of Art. Exhibited at the 1912 ''Salon de la Section d'Or'' File:Albert Gleizes, 1910, L'Arbre (The Tree), oil on canvas, 92 x 73.2 cm, private collection.jpg,
Albert Gleizes Albert Gleizes (; 8 December 1881 – 23 June 1953) was a major 20th-century French artist, theoretician, philosopher, a self-proclaimed founder of Cubism Cubism is an early-20th-century avant-garde The avant-garde (; In 'advance guard' ...
, 1910, ''L'Arbre, The Tree (Gleizes), L'Arbre (The Tree)'', oil on canvas, 92 x 73.2 cm, private collection File:Albert Gleizes, 1910, Femme aux Phlox, oil on canvas, 81 x 100 cm, exhibited Armory Show, New York, 1913, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston..jpg,
Albert Gleizes Albert Gleizes (; 8 December 1881 – 23 June 1953) was a major 20th-century French artist, theoretician, philosopher, a self-proclaimed founder of Cubism Cubism is an early-20th-century avant-garde The avant-garde (; In 'advance guard' ...
, 1910, ''La Femme aux Phlox (Gleizes), La Femme aux Phlox (Woman with Phlox)'', oil on canvas, 81 x 100 cm, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston File:Marcel Duchamp, 1910, Joueur d'échecs (The Chess Game), oil on canvas, 114 x 146.5 cm, Philadelphia Museum of Art.jpg, Marcel Duchamp, 1910, ''Joueur d'échecs'' (''The Chess Game''), oil on canvas, 114 x 146.5 cm, Philadelphia Museum of Art File:Jean Metzinger, 1910-11, Deux Nus (Two Nudes, Two Women), oil on canvas, 92 x 66 cm, Gothenburg Museum of Art, Sweden.jpg,
Jean Metzinger Jean Dominique Antony Metzinger (; 24 June 1883 – 3 November 1956) was a major 20th-century French painter, theorist, writer, critic and poet, who along with Albert Gleizes Albert Gleizes (; 8 December 1881 – 23 June 1953) was a major 20 ...
, 1910–11, ''Deux Nus, Deux Nus (Two Nudes, Two Women, Nus dans un paysage)'', oil on canvas, 92 x 66 cm, Gothenburg Museum of Art, Sweden File:Albert Gleizes, 1911, Portrait de Jacques Nayral, oil on canvas, 161.9 x 114 cm, Tate Modern, London.jpg,
Albert Gleizes Albert Gleizes (; 8 December 1881 – 23 June 1953) was a major 20th-century French artist, theoretician, philosopher, a self-proclaimed founder of Cubism Cubism is an early-20th-century avant-garde The avant-garde (; In 'advance guard' ...
, 1911, ''Portrait of Jacques Nayral (Gleizes), Portrait de Jacques Nayral'', oil on canvas, 161.9 x 114 cm, Tate Modern, London File:Recoveredgleizes.jpg,
Albert Gleizes Albert Gleizes (; 8 December 1881 – 23 June 1953) was a major 20th-century French artist, theoretician, philosopher, a self-proclaimed founder of Cubism Cubism is an early-20th-century avant-garde The avant-garde (; In 'advance guard' ...
, 1911, ''Le Chemin, Paysage à Meudon (Gleizes), Le Chemin, Paysage à Meudon, Paysage avec personnage'', oil on canvas, 146.4 x 114.4 cm File:Albert Gleizes, 1912, Les ponts de Paris (Passy), The Bridges of Paris, oil on canvas, 60.5 x 73.2 cm, Museum Moderner Kunst (mumok), Vienna..jpg,
Albert Gleizes Albert Gleizes (; 8 December 1881 – 23 June 1953) was a major 20th-century French artist, theoretician, philosopher, a self-proclaimed founder of Cubism Cubism is an early-20th-century avant-garde The avant-garde (; In 'advance guard' ...
, 1912, ''Passy, Bridges of Paris (Gleizes), Les ponts de Paris (Passy), The Bridges of Paris (Passy)'', oil on canvas, 60.5 x 73.2 cm, Museum Moderner Kunst (mumok), Vienna File:Marcel Duchamp, 1912, Le Roi et la Reine entourés de Nus vites (The King and Queen Surrounded by Swift Nudes), oil on canvas, 114.6 x 128.9 cm, Philadelphia Museum of Art.jpg, Marcel Duchamp, 1912, ''Le Roi et la Reine entourés de Nus vites'' (''The King and Queen Surrounded by Swift Nudes''), oil on canvas, 114.6 x 128.9 cm, Philadelphia Museum of Art File:Pierre Dumont, Cathédrale de Rouen (Rouen Cathedral), c.1912, oil on canvas, 192.4 x 138.7 cm, Milwaukee Art Museum.jpg, Pierre Dumont (painter), Pierre Dumont, c.1912, ''Cathédrale de Rouen (Rouen Cathedral)'', oil on canvas, 192.4 x 138.7 cm, Milwaukee Art Museum File:Tobeen, 1912, Pelotaris, oil on canvas, 147.5 x 115.5 cm.jpg, Tobeen, 1912, ''Pelotaris'', oil on canvas, 147.5 x 115.5 cm File:Francis Picabia, 1912, The Procession, Seville, oil on canvas, 121.9 x 121.9 cm, National Gallery of Art, Washington DC.jpg,
Francis Picabia Francis Picabia (: born Francis-Marie Martinez de Picabia; 22January 1879 – 30November 1953) was a French avant-garde painter, poet and typographist. After experimenting with Impressionism and Pointillism, Picabia became associated with Cubism. ...

Francis Picabia
, 1912, ''The Procession, Seville'', oil on canvas, 121.9 x 121.9 cm, National Gallery of Art, Washington DC. File:Francis Picabia, The Dance at the Spring, 1912, oil on canvas, Philadelphia Museum of Art.jpg, Francis Picabia, 1912, ''The Dance at the Spring'' (''Danse à la source''), oil on canvas, 120.5 x 120.6 cm, Philadelphia Museum of Art File:Jacques Villon, 1912, Girl at the Piano, oil on canvas, 129.2 x 96.4 cm, Museum of Modern Art, New York...jpg, Jacques Villon, 1912, ''Girl at the Piano (Fillette au piano)'', oil on canvas, 129.2 x 96.4 cm (51 x 37.8 in), oval, Museum of Modern Art, New York


Golden ratio

There is some debate on the extent to which works exhibited at the 1912 Salon de la Section d'Or employed the
golden ratio In mathematics Mathematics (from Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as numbers ( and ), formulas and related structures (), shapes and spaces in which they are contained (), and quantities and their changes ( and ). There is no ...

golden ratio
, or not. Despite a general interest in mathematical harmony, whether the paintings featured in the celebrated ''Salon de la Section d'Or'' exhibition used the golden ratio itself in their compositions is difficult to determine.William A. Camfield, ''Juan Gris and the Golden Section''
Art Bulletin, 47, no. 1, March 1965, 128-34. 68
Analysis by Christopher Green suggests that Juan Gris made use of the golden ratio in composing works that were likely shown at the exhibition.Christopher Green
''Juan Gris''
Whitechapel Art Gallery, London, 18 September - 29 November 1992; Staatsgalerie Stuttgart 18 December 1992-14 February 1993; Rijksmuseum Kröller-Müller, Otterlo, 6 March - 2 May 1993, Yale University Press, 1992, pp. 37-38,
David Cottington, ''Cubism and Its Histories, Barber Institute's critical perspectives in art history series, Critical Perspectives in Art History''
Manchester University Press, 2004, pp. 112, 142,
Art historian David Cottington writes:
It will be remembered that ''Du "Cubisme"'', written probably as these paintings were being made, gestured somewhat obscurely to non-Euclidean concepts, and Riemann's theorems; as Linda Henderson has shown, these references betray not an informed understanding of modern mathematics but a shaky hold on some of their principles, culled (indeed plagiarised) from Henri Poincaré's ''La Science et l'Hypothèse.'' The authors themselves had little clear idea of how such mathematics related to their art, except as a vague synecdoche for "modern science".
Camfield writes that the use of the golden section at ''La Section d'Or'' is rather tentative:
A few of these paintings were moreover based on simple geometrical compositions. Yet, not a single artist there displayed a serious commitment to geometrical proportions with the one exception of Juan Gris. [...] Although all of the Puteaux artists were interested in mathematics (Marcel Duchamp, interview with the author, April 4, 1961), neither Marcel Duchamp nor Jacques Villon, who suggested the title for "La Section d'Or" believes that the golden section was actually used in their paintings. And in ''
Du "Cubisme" ''Du "Cubisme"'', also written ''Du Cubisme'', or ''Du « Cubisme »'' (and in English, ''On Cubism'' or ''Cubism''), is a book written in 1912 by Albert Gleizes and Jean Metzinger. This was the first major text on Cubism, predating ''The Cubist P ...
'' Gleizes and Metzinger chastise those painters who would rely on mathematics for certitude.
Camfield says that neither of the paintings he analyses "can be definitively identified with "La Section d'Or" paintings", only that the "stylistic evidence" places them in that period and they "would almost certainly have been shown" there. From the titles, dates and previous exhibitions listed in the 1912 ''Salon de la Section d'Or'' catalogue, many painting have since been identified, for example, ''Les Baigneuses (Gleizes), Les Baigneuses (The Bathers)'' and ''Le goûter (Tea Time)'', ''La Femme au Cheval, La Femme au Cheval (Woman with a horse)'', and many more works by Gleizes, Metzinger and others. The main exception is for the works of Juan Gris, since no titles are given for his submissions in the catalogue. However, it is now known, from published correspondence between the artist and the dealer
Léonce Rosenberg Léonce Rosenberg (12 September 1879 in Paris Paris () is the Capital city, capital and List of communes in France with over 20,000 inhabitants, most populous city of France, with an estimated population of 2,175,601 residents as of 2018, in ...
that 13 paintings by Gris were shown, most of which have been identified by their titles, dates, and dimensions. Albert Gleizes exhibited ''Les Baigneuses (Gleizes), Les Baigneuses (The Bathers)'' at the 1912 Salon de la Section d'Or (catalogue no. 40). The proportions of the canvas correspond exactly to the golden rectangle (a ratio of 1 to 1.618 ± 0.01). This work has a rare dimension of 105 x 171 cm. Gleizes, as most artists at the time, generally used standard format chassis (stretchers), which are ''not'' golden rectangles. In ''
Du "Cubisme" ''Du "Cubisme"'', also written ''Du Cubisme'', or ''Du « Cubisme »'' (and in English, ''On Cubism'' or ''Cubism''), is a book written in 1912 by Albert Gleizes and Jean Metzinger. This was the first major text on Cubism, predating ''The Cubist P ...
'' it was argued that Cubism itself was not based on any geometrical theory, but that non-Euclidean geometry corresponded better than classical, or Euclidean geometry, to what the Cubists were doing: "If we wished to relate the space of the [Cubist] painters to geometry, we should have to refer it to the non-Euclidean mathematicians; we should have to study, at some length, certain of Riemann's theorems." The 1912 compositions of Juan gris, according to art historian Christopher Green (art historian), Christopher Green, were often "modular and regular... easily fitted to the demands of Golden Section composing in the pictures of the summer, such as ''Man in a Café'' and ''The Watch.''" The "synthetic and analytic were visibly fused. In the Golden Section paintings... he laid the grids like systems of fault-lines across things, faut-lines on either side of which view-points switch. File:Albert Gleizes, 1912, Les Baigneuses (The Bathers), oil on canvas, 105 x 171 cm, Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, golden rectangle and Fibonacci spiral.jpg,
Albert Gleizes Albert Gleizes (; 8 December 1881 – 23 June 1953) was a major 20th-century French artist, theoretician, philosopher, a self-proclaimed founder of Cubism Cubism is an early-20th-century avant-garde The avant-garde (; In 'advance guard' ...
, 1912, ''Les Baigneuses (Gleizes), Les Baigneuses (The Bathers)'', oil on canvas, 105 x 171 cm, Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, golden rectangle (painting, 1 to 1.618 ± 0.07), golden ratio grid (golden/yellow grid, so1 - so4), and 4 : 6 ratio grid overlay File:Juan Gris, 1912, Still Life with Flowers, oil on canvas, 112.1 x 70.2 cm, Museum of Modern Art.jpg,
Juan Gris José Victoriano (Carmelo Carlos) González-Pérez (23 March 1887 – 11 May 1927), better known as Juan Gris (; ), was a Spanish painter born in Madrid Madrid ( , ) is the capital and most populous city of Spain , image_flag ...

Juan Gris
, 1912, ''Still Life with Flowers'', oil on canvas, 112.1 x 70.2 cm, Museum of Modern Art, New York. Precisely a golden rectangle format with a ratio of 1 to 1.618 ± 0.01 File:Georges Seurat, Parade de cirque, with golden mean overlay.jpg,
Georges Seurat Georges Pierre Seurat ( , , ; 2 December 1859 – 29 March 1891) was a French post-Impressionist artist. He is best known for devising the painting techniques known as chromoluminarism and pointillism Pointillism (, ) is a technique of pai ...
, 1887–88, ''Parade de cirque, Circus Sideshow (Parade de Cirque)'', oil on canvas, 99.7 × 140.9 cm, Metropolitan Museum of Art. Golden mean overlay (section d'or, so1 - so4) and 4 : 6 ratio grid


Homage to Seurat

The ''Section d'Or'' group founded by some of the most prominent Cubists was in effect an homage to
Georges Seurat Georges Pierre Seurat ( , , ; 2 December 1859 – 29 March 1891) was a French post-Impressionist artist. He is best known for devising the painting techniques known as chromoluminarism and pointillism Pointillism (, ) is a technique of pai ...
. Within the works by Seurat—of cafés, cabarets and concerts, of which the avant-garde were fond—the Cubists' rediscovered an underlying mathematical harmony: one that could easily be transformed into mobile, dynamical configurations.Robert Herbert, Neo-Impressionism, New York: The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, 1968 Whereas Cézanne had been influential to the development of Cubism between 1908 and 1911, during its most expressionistic phase, the work of Seurat would attract attention from the Cubists and Futurists between 1911 and 1914, when flatter geometric structures were being produced. What the Cubists found attractive, according to Apollinaire, was the manner in which Seurat asserted an absolute "scientific clarity of conception." The Cubists observed in his mathematical harmonies, geometric structuring of motion and form, the primacy of ''idea'' over ''nature'' (something the Symbolism (arts), Symbolists had recognized). In their eyes, Seurat had "taken a fundamental step toward Cubism by restoring intellect and order to art, after Impressionism had denied them" (Robert Herbert, 1968). The golden section does not govern
Georges Seurat Georges Pierre Seurat ( , , ; 2 December 1859 – 29 March 1891) was a French post-Impressionist artist. He is best known for devising the painting techniques known as chromoluminarism and pointillism Pointillism (, ) is a technique of pai ...
's ''Parade de cirque, Parade de Cirque (Circus Sideshow)'' geometric structure. Modern consensus is that Seurat never used the 'divine proportion'. ''Parade'' is divided horizontally into fourths and vertically into sixths. The 4 : 6 ratio corresponds to the dimensions of the canvas (one-half times wider than its vertical dimension). The ratio of Seurat's painting/stretcher corresponded to a ratio of 1 to 1.502, ± 0.002 (as opposed to the golden ratio of 1 to 1.618). The compositional axes in the painting correspond to basic mathematical divisions (simple ratios that appear to approximate the golden section).Robert L. Herbert, ''Georges Seurat, 1859-1891'', The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1991
pp. 340-345, archive.org (full text online)


Section d'Or, 1920, 1925

After World War I, with the support given by the dealer
Léonce Rosenberg Léonce Rosenberg (12 September 1879 in Paris Paris () is the Capital city, capital and List of communes in France with over 20,000 inhabitants, most populous city of France, with an estimated population of 2,175,601 residents as of 2018, in ...
, Cubism returned as a central issue for artists. With the Salons dominated by a return to classicism, Albert Gleizes attempted to resuscitate the spirit of the Section d'Or in 1920 but was met with great difficulty, despite support by
Fernand Léger Joseph Fernand Henri Léger (; February 4, 1881 – August 17, 1955) was a French painter Painting is the practice of applying paint Paint is any pigmented liquid, liquefiable, or solid mastic composition that, after application to a ...

Fernand Léger
,
Alexander Archipenko Alexander Porfyrovych Archipenko (also referred to as Olexandr, Oleksandr, or Aleksandr; uk, Олександр Порфирович Архипенко, Romanized: Olexandr Porfyrovych Arkhypenko; February 25, 1964) was a Ukrainian and American ...
,
Georges Braque Georges Braque ( , ; 13 May 1882 – 31 August 1963) was a major 20th-century French painter This is a list of French people, French painters sorted alphabetically and by the century in which the painter was most active. alphabetically ...
, Constantin Brâncuși, Henri Laurens, Jacques Villon, Raymond Duchamp-Villon, Louis Marcoussis and Léopold Survage. Gleizes' organizational efforts were directed towards the re-establishment of a European-wide movement of Cubist and abstract art in the form of a large traveling exhibition; the ''Exposition de la Section d’Or''. The idea was to bring together a collection of works that revealed the complete process of transformation and renewal that had taken place. It was not the success he had hoped for. Cubism was seen as passé for emerging artists and other established artists such as Marcel Duchamp and Picabia, although Gleizes, on the contrary, felt that only its preliminary phase had been investigated. In addition to Cubists works (which already represented a wide variety of styles), the second edition of the Section d'Or held at the Galerie La Boétie from 5 March 1920 included De Stijl, Bauhaus, Constructivism (art), Constructivism and Futurism. It was the revival of the Section d'Or which ensured that Cubism in general would become Dadaism, Dada's preferred target. The new polemic resulted in the publication of ''Du cubisme et des moyens de le comprendre'' by Albert Gleizes, followed in 1922 by ''Crystal Cubism#Painting and its Laws, La Peinture et ses lois''.Fondation Gleizes, Chronologie (French)


Notable members

*Hélène Oettingen (François Angiboult), 1887–1950, French *
Alexander Archipenko Alexander Porfyrovych Archipenko (also referred to as Olexandr, Oleksandr, or Aleksandr; uk, Олександр Порфирович Архипенко, Romanized: Olexandr Porfyrovych Arkhypenko; February 25, 1964) was a Ukrainian and American ...
, 1887–1964, Russian-Ukrainian *Constantin Brâncuși, 1876–1957, Romanian *
Joseph Csaky Joseph Csaky (also written Josef Csàky, Csáky József, József Csáky and Joseph Alexandre Czaky) (18 March 1888 – 1 May 1971) was a Hungarian avant-garde The avant-garde (; In 'advance guard' or 'vanguard', literally 'fore-guard') are ...
, 1888–1971, Hungarian, naturalized French *Aleksandra Ekster, Alexandra Exter, 1882–1949, Russian-French *
Robert Delaunay Robert Delaunay (12 April 1885 – 25 October 1941) was a French artist who, with his wife Sonia Delaunay and others, co-founded the Orphism (art), Orphism art movement, noted for its use of strong colours and geometric shapes. His later works wer ...
, 1885–1941, French *Marthe Donas, 1885–1967, Belgian *Marcel Duchamp, 1887–1968, French *Raymond Duchamp-Villon, 1876–1918, French *Pierre Dumont (painter), Pierre Dumont, 1884–1936, French *Aleksandra Ekster, Alexandra Exter, 1882-1949, Russian-French *
Henri le Fauconnier Henri Victor Gabriel Le Fauconnier (July 5, 1881 – December 25, 1946) was a French Cubist Cubism is an early-20th-century avant-garde The avant-garde (; In 'advance guard' or ' vanguard', literally 'fore-guard') are people or works that ...
, 1881–1946, French *
Roger de La Fresnaye Roger de La Fresnaye (; 11 July 1885 – 27 November 1925) was a French Cubist Painting, painter. Early years and education La Fresnaye was born in Le Mans where his father, an officer in the French army, was temporarily stationed. The La Fresnay ...

Roger de La Fresnaye
, 1885–1925, French *
Albert Gleizes Albert Gleizes (; 8 December 1881 – 23 June 1953) was a major 20th-century French artist, theoretician, philosopher, a self-proclaimed founder of Cubism Cubism is an early-20th-century avant-garde The avant-garde (; In 'advance guard' ...
, 1881–1953, French *Natalia Goncharova, 1881–1962, Russian *
Juan Gris José Victoriano (Carmelo Carlos) González-Pérez (23 March 1887 – 11 May 1927), better known as Juan Gris (; ), was a Spanish painter born in Madrid Madrid ( , ) is the capital and most populous city of Spain , image_flag ...

Juan Gris
, 1887–1927, Spanish *
František Kupka František Kupka (23 September 1871 – 24 June 1957), also known as ''Frank Kupka'' or ''François Kupka,'' was a Czech Czech may refer to: * Anything from or related to the Czech Republic The Czech Republic (; cs, Česká republika ) ...
, 1871–1957, Czech *Jean Lambert-Rucki, 1888–1967, Polish *
Marie Laurencin Marie Laurencin (31 October 1883 – 8 June 1956) was a French painter and printmaker. She became an important figure in the Parisian avant-garde The avant-garde (; In 'advance guard' or '', literally 'fore-guard') are people or works that a ...
, 1883–1956, French *
Fernand Léger Joseph Fernand Henri Léger (; February 4, 1881 – August 17, 1955) was a French painter Painting is the practice of applying paint Paint is any pigmented liquid, liquefiable, or solid mastic composition that, after application to a ...

Fernand Léger
, 1881–1955, French *André Lhote, 1885–1962, French *
Jean Marchand Jean Marchand, (December 20, 1918 – August 28, 1988) was a French Canadian public figure, trade unionist and politician in Quebec, Canada. Life and career During the 1949 Asbestos Strike in Quebec, Marchand led the striking workers as sec ...
, 1883–1940, French *Louis Marcoussis, 1878–1941, Polish *André Mare, 1885–1932, French *
Jean Metzinger Jean Dominique Antony Metzinger (; 24 June 1883 – 3 November 1956) was a major 20th-century French painter, theorist, writer, critic and poet, who along with Albert Gleizes Albert Gleizes (; 8 December 1881 – 23 June 1953) was a major 20 ...
, 1883–1956, French *
Francis Picabia Francis Picabia (: born Francis-Marie Martinez de Picabia; 22January 1879 – 30November 1953) was a French avant-garde painter, poet and typographist. After experimenting with Impressionism and Pointillism, Picabia became associated with Cubism. ...

Francis Picabia
, 1879–1953, French/Spanish * (Rena Hassenberg), 1884–1953, French, Polish *Georges Ribemont-Dessaignes, 1884–1974, French *Jeanne Rij-Rousseau, 1870–1956, French *André Dunoyer de Segonzac, 1884–1974, French *, 1881–1948, French *Tobeen, 1880–1938, French *, 1883–1960, French *Jacques Villon, 1875–1963, French


Collaborators

*
Guillaume Apollinaire Guillaume Apollinaire (; 26 August 1880 – 9 November 1918) (born as ''Wilhelm Albert Włodzimierz Apolinary de Wąż-Kostrowicki'') was a French poet A poet is a person who creates poetry Poetry (derived from the Greek language ...

Guillaume Apollinaire
, 1880–1918, French, Italian, Polish *, 1885–1961, French *Gabrièle Buffet-Picabia, 1881–1985, French *René Blum (ballet), 1878–1942, French *Adolphe Basler, 1878–1949, French *Marc Brésil, French *Max Goth (Maximilien Gauthier), 1893–1977, French *Olivier Hourcade, French *Max Jacob, 1876–1944, French *Pierre Müller, 1884–1914, French *Jacques Nayral (Joseph Houot), ? 1914, French *
Maurice Princet Maurice Princet (1875 – October 23, 1973) was a French people, French mathematician and actuary who played a role in the birth of cubism. He was an associate of Pablo Picasso, Guillaume Apollinaire, Max Jacob, Jean Metzinger, and Marcel Duchamp. H ...
, 1875–1973, French *Maurice Raynal, 1884–1954, French *Paul-Napoléon Roinard, 1856–1930, French *Pierre Reverdy, 1889–1960, French *André Salmon, 1881–1969, French *, 1881-1977 *, 1885–1960, French *, 1876–1947, French


See also

*Purism (arts) *Orphism (art) *Abstract art *Crystal Cubism


References


Further reading

* ''La Section d'or, 1912-1920-1925'', Cécile Debray, Françoise Lucbert, Musées de Châteauroux, Musée Fabre, exhibition catalogue, Éditions Cercle d'art, Paris, 2000. * Alfred H. Barr, Jr., ''Cubism and Abstract Art,'' New York: Museum of Modern Art, 1936. * * * John Golding, ''Cubism: A History and an Analysis, 1907-1914,'' New York: Wittenborn, 1959. *John Richardson (art historian), Richardson, John. ''A Life Of Picasso, The Cubist Rebel 1907-1916.'' New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1991.


External links


Exhibit catalog for Salon de "La Section d'Or", 1912. Walter Pach papers, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution

Exposition de la Section d’Or à la galerie La Boétie (Paris) et parution du traité Du Cubisme de Gleizes et Metzinger, 1912, Archives de France

La Section d'Or, numero special, 9 Octobre 1912, full document, Bibliothèque Kandinsky, Centre Pompidou
{{Authority control French artist groups and collectives Cubism 20th-century French painters Orphism (art) eo:Ora Sekcio