Marius de Zayas (Mexican, Veracruz 1880–1961 Stamford, Connecticut)
Charcoal and graphite on paper
24 1/2 x 18 3/4 in. (62.2 x 47.6 cm)
Alfred Stieglitz Collection, 1949
Not on view
With her good friends from "291"-Katharine Rhoades and Agnes Meyer-Marion Beckett (1886-1949) often visited the photographer Edward Steichen and his family at their home in France. In this idyllic setting, Beckett focused on her own painting (which was shown at "291" in 1915), while also serving as an inspiration for Steichen. Described by Agnes Meyer as one of "the most beautiful young women that ever walked this earth," Beckett was more gentle and reserved than the other "Three Graces" (Rhoades and Meyer). Here, in one of his most geometric and starkly simple compositions, de Zayas gives her an expression of wide-eyed innocence, defining only her catlike eyes and a few wisps of hair. Undermining her serenity, however, are the massive blocks of black charcoal, peaked and threatening on all sides, that perhaps allude to rising tensions within the Steichen household over his alleged infidelities.
the artist (to Stieglitz); Alfred Stieglitz, New York (ca. 1915–d. 1946; his estate, 1946–49; gift to MMA)
Philadelphia. Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. "Exhibition of Paintings and Drawings Showing the Later Tendencies in Art," April 16–May 15, 1921, no. 221 (lent by Alfred Stieglitz).
New York. Whitney Studio Club. "Exhibition of Paintings and Drawings: Selected and Arranged by Mr. W.E. Hill," January 23–February 6, 1924, no catalogue.
Lawrence. Spencer Museum of Art, University of Kansas. "Marius de Zayas: Conjurer of Souls," September 27–November 8, 1981, no. 33.
Philadelphia Museum of Art. "Marius de Zayas: Conjurer of Souls," December 18, 1981 – February 14, 1982, no. 33.
New York. Center for Inter-American Relations. "Marius de Zayas: Conjurer of Souls," March 2 – April 4, 1982, no. 33.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Marius de Zayas & Stieglitz Circle," March 19–June 27, 2004, no catalogue.
Paris. Musée d'Orsay. "New York et l'art moderne: Alfred Stieglitz et son cercle (1905–1930)," October 18, 2004–January 16, 2005, no. 92.
Madrid. Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía. "Nueva York y el arte moderno: Alfred Stieglitz y su circulo (1905–1930)," February 10–May 16, 2005, no. 92.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Stieglitz and His Artists: Matisse to O'Keeffe," October 13, 2011–January 2, 2012, no. 256.
"Review of Whitney Studio Club Exhibition." Evening World (March 7, 1924).
Douglas Hyland. Marius de Zayas: Conjurer of Souls. Exh. cat., Spencer Museum of Art, University of Kansas. Lawrence, Kansas, 1981, pp. 43, 116, 118, 124, no. 33, ill. p. 125.
Sylvia Yount and Elizabeth Johns. To Be Modern: American Encounters with Cézanne and Company. Exh. cat., Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Philadelphia, 1996, ill. p. 76 (Exh. Philadelphia 1921 cat.).
Jessica Murphy. "Portraiture and Feminine Identity in the Stieglitz Circle: Agnes Ernst Meyer, Katharine Rhoades and Marion Beckett." PhD diss., University of Delaware, 2009, pp. 240, 242, 245, 249–52, fig. 5.6.
Lisa Mintz Messinger inStieglitz and His Artists: Matisse to O'Keeffe. The Alfred Stieglitz Collection in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Ed. Lisa Mintz Messinger. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2011, pp. 237, 291, no. 256, ill. (color).