Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Woman with a Cat

Artist:
Fernand Léger (French, Argentan 1881–1955 Gif-sur-Yvette)
Date:
1921
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Dimensions:
51 1/2 × 35 5/8 in. (130.8 × 90.5 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Gift of Florene M. Schoenborn, 1994
Accession Number:
1994.486
Rights and Reproduction:
© 2016 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 913
Woman with a Cat belongs to a group of monumental female figures that Léger painted throughout the 1920s. Motionless and frontal,
this colossal nude might be made of stone or metal, evoking at once a classical sculpture and a futuristic robot. While Léger’s subject is rooted in European, particularly French, artistic traditions, his streamlined style reflects contemporary design aesthetics that the painter’s friend, the architect Le Corbusier, advocated and popularized.
Inscription: Signed and dated (lower right): F. LÉGER. 21
Gottlieb Friedrich Reber, Lugano and Lausanne (by 1931–58; sold on February 16, 1958, through François Daulte, for $28,035, to Knoedler); [M. Knoedler & Co., New York, 1958; stock no. A6961; sold on November 11, 1958, for $38,000, to Marx]; Samuel and Florene Marx, Chicago (1958–his d. 1964); Florene May Marx, later Mrs. Wolfgang Schoenborn, New York (1964–94; her gift to MMA)

Frankfurt. Städelsche Kunstinstitut. "Vom Abbild zum Sinnbild: Ausstellung von Meisterwerken Moderner Malerei," June 3–July 3, 1931, no. 133 (as "Frau mit Katze," lent by a private collection).

London. Alex Reid & Lefevre, Ltd. "Masterpieces by 20th Century French Painters: 'L'Ecole de Paris'," January–February 1932, no. 9 (as "La Femme au Chat," lent by Dr. Reber, Lausanne [Switzerland]).

Kunsthalle Bern. "Fernand Léger," April 10–May 25, 1952, no. 24 (as "La Femme au chat," lent by Dr. Reber, Lausanne).

Musée de Lyon. "Fernand Léger," June 28–September 30, 1955, no. 21 (as "La femme au chat," lent by Docteur Reber, Lausanne).

Kunsthalle Basel. "Fernand Léger," May 22–June 23, 1957, no. 30 (as "La femme au chat," lent by Dr. G. F. Reber, Lausanne).

Kunsthaus Zürich. "Fernand Léger," July 6–August 17, 1957, no. 38 (as "La femme au chat," lent by Dr. G. F. Reber, Lausanne).

New York. Museum of Modern Art. "The School of Paris: Paintings from the Florene May Schoenborn and Samuel A. Marx Collection," November 2, 1965–January 2, 1966, unnumbered cat. (p. 39; as "Woman with Cat").

Art Institute of Chicago. "The School of Paris: Paintings from the Florene May Schoenborn and Samuel A. Marx Collection," February 11–March 27, 1966, unnumbered cat.

City Art Museum of Saint Louis. "The School of Paris: Paintings from the Florene May Schoenborn and Samuel A. Marx Collection," April 26–June 13, 1966, unnumbered cat.

Mexico City. Museo de Arte Moderno. "The School of Paris: Paintings from the Florene May Schoenborn and Samuel A. Marx Collection," July 2–August 7, 1966, unnumbered cat.

San Francisco Museum of Art. "The School of Paris: Paintings from the Florene May Schoenborn and Samuel A. Marx Collection," September 2–October 2, 1966, unnumbered cat.

Buenos Aires. Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes. "de Cézanne a Miró," May 15–June 5, 1968, unnumbered cat. (p. 35; lent by the Florene May Schoenborn and Samuel A. Marx collection, New York).

Santiago. Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de la Universidad de Chile. "de Cézanne a Miró," June 26–July 17, 1968, unnumbered cat.

Museo de Bellas Artes de Caracas. "de Cézanne a Miró," August 4–25, 1968, unnumbered cat.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Florene M. Schoenborn Bequest: 12 Artists of the School of Paris," February 11–May 4, 1997, extended to August 31, 1997, brochure no. 9.

Kunsthaus Zürich. "Max Beckmann and Paris: Matisse, Picasso, Braque, Léger, Rouault," September 25, 1998–January 3, 1999, no. 74.

Saint Louis Art Museum. "Max Beckmann and Paris: Matisse, Picasso, Braque, Léger, Rouault," February 6–May 9, 1999, no. 74.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Painters in Paris: 1895–1950," March 8–December 31, 2000, extended to January 14, 2001, unnumbered cat. (p. 90).

Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art. "Picasso and the School of Paris: Paintings from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York," September 14–November 24, 2002, no. 37.

Tokyo. Bunkamura Museum of Art. "Picasso and the School of Paris: Paintings from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York," December 7, 2002–March 9, 2003, no. 37.

Lucy R. Lippard in The School of Paris: Paintings from the Florene May Schoenborn and Samuel A. Marx Collection. Exh. cat., Museum of Modern Art. New York, 1965, p. 39, ill.

James Thrall Soby in The School of Paris: Paintings from the Florene May Schoenborn and Samuel A. Marx Collection. Exh. cat., Museum of Modern Art. New York, 1965, p. 9.

Hilton Kramer. "Though Exhibiting It Badly, Met Offers a Worthy de Kooning Show." New York Observer (August 28, 1989), p. 1.

Dorothy Kosinski. "G. F. Reber: Collector of Cubism." Burlington Magazine 133, no. 1061 (August 1991), p. 530.

Georges Bauquier assisté de Nelly Maillard. Fernand Léger: Catalogue raisonné. Vol. 2, 1920–1924. Paris, 1992, pp. 182–83, no. 306, ill., as "La Femme au chat".

Sabine Rewald in "Recent Acquisitions: A Selection, 1994–1995." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 53 (Autumn 1995), p. 61, ill. (color), mentions a nearly identical version of this picture in the Kunsthalle, Hamburg (1921; Bauquier 1992, no. 305).

Carol Vogel. "32 Works of Art by Masters Left to Met and the Modern." New York Times (November 25, 1996), p. C12.

William S. Lieberman. "Donnés au Met." Connaissance des arts no. 539 (May 1997), p. 71, ill. (color).

Grace Glueck. "When One City Was the Heart of Art's Youth." New York Times (March 10, 2000), p. E39, ill. p. E35.

Peter Kropmanns and Uwe Fleckner. "Von Kontinentaler Bedeuteung: Gottlieb Friedrich Reber und Seine Sammlungen." Die Moderne und Ihre Sammler: Französische Kunst in Deutschem Privatbesitz vom Kaiserreich zur Weimarer Republik. Ed. Andrea Pophanken and Felix Billeter. Berlin, 2001, p. 398, no. 2, erroneously as still in a private collection, Chicago.

William S. Lieberman in Picasso and the School of Paris: Paintings from The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. Exh. cat., Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art. [Tokyo], 2002, pp. 91, 94, 167, no. 37, ill. (color).

Holland Cotter. "The Hidden Collection." New York Times (August 15, 2008), ill. p. E25 (color detail).

The Metropolitan Museum of Art Guide. New York, 2012, p. 407, ill. (color).



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