Paquebot “Paris”

Charles Demuth (American, 1883 - 1935)

1921 - 1922. Oil on canvas, 25 x 20". 1931.139

Charles Demuth found an austere beauty in industrial objects, and he made their hard-edged, angular shapes a principal subject of his Precisionist style. A visit by Demuth to France coincided with the beginning of a new direction in French Cubism, in the course of which industrial objects were declared to have especially evocative and poetic powers. Returning from Europe on the steamer Paris, Demuth made preliminary pencil sketches of the ship’s deck and funnels. In this painting, he has emphasized the shape of the funnel and the flatness of the painting, while strengthening the presence of the funnel by repeating its shape and adding the radiating lines.

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