Comedie de Societe

Paris, 1903

Dallas Museum of Art

Dallas Museum of Art

Seated in a well-appointed interior, three well-dressed bourgeois women gaze intently at an activity unfolding outside of the composition. As the title suggests, they are the exclusive audience of an amateur play presented in the home of a socially elevated acquaintance, a phenomenon coined a Comédie de Société in Parisian journals of the time. Although we cannot see the performance, the inclusion of a Rococo-inspired scene of naked nymphs frolicking in a landscape suggests the play is a light-hearted comedy. The brother of the modern artist Marcel Duchamp, Jacques Villon had early success as a printmaker before going on to make a name for himself as a Cubist painter and proponent of abstraction in the opening decades of the 20th century.

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  • Title: Comedie de Societe
  • Date Created: Paris, 1903
  • Physical Dimensions: Image dimensions: 19 5/8 x 16 1/2 in. (49.848 x 41.91 cm) Sheet dimensions: 26 3/4 x 20 1/8 in. (67.945 x 51.118 cm)
  • Type: Prints
  • External Link: https://www.dma.org/object/artwork/5200854/
  • Medium: Etching and color aquatint on paper
  • Credit Line: Dallas Museum of Art, Junior League of Dallas Purchase Fund
  • Artist Nationality: French
  • Artist: Jacques Villon