La famille en métamorphose (Décoration murale) (The Family in a State of Metamorphosis [Wall Decorations])

André Masson

Balagny-sur-Thérain, France, 1896 - Paris, France, 1987
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  • Technique: 
    Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions: 
    153 x 435 cm
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André Masson’s huge work La famille en metamorphose is an example of the plastic language established in Surrealism. The French art collector Pierre David-Weill commissioned the mural from Masson for his Paris apartment. The commission for the painting – one of two of the same size that Masson painted for David-Weill – was completed through Georges Henri Rivière, the first director of the ICOM , considered the inspiration behind modern museology. During July, August and September of 1929, the artist did numerous preparatory studies for the piece, mainly pencil and pastel drawings. The painting itself uses a theme that was very popular with the Surrealists; metamorphosis, in which one can see the changes that one motif goes through as it turns into another, by means of associating ideas that are without logic (or, if preferred, are on the boundaries of conventional logic), but do give rise to stimulating, disturbing images. It should be stressed that 1929 was the year that Masson broke up with his first wife, Odette Cabalé, which is possibly where the title of the piece comes from.Paloma Esteban Leal