Artillery

Artist: Roger de la Fresnaye (French, Le Mans 1885–1925 Grasse)

Date: 1911

Medium: Oil on canvas

Dimensions: 51 1/4 x 62 3/4 in. (130.2 x 159.4 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: Gift of Florene M. Schoenborn, 1991

Accession Number: 1991.397

Description

Artillery unites the traditional subject of a militia company with the distinctly modern style of Cubism. The painting depicts officers on horseback accompanying a caisson (ammunition wagon for moving artillery) that transports a field gun and three soldiers in helmets. In the background a military band approaches wearing the blue and red colors of the French infantry. The artist’s geometric rendering of form lends strength to the already muscular composition and evokes the group’s cadenced movement through space. Painted three years before the outbreak of World War I, the painting appears to foretell the imminent conflict.

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