Louis Marcoussis and His Cubist Contribution

KatherineArtist Spotlight, Cubism, European PaintingsLeave a Comment

Louis Marcoussis

Cubism was a rejection of the notion that art ought to be a replica of nature. Instead, artists wished to emphasize the flatness and two dimensional nature of the canvas. They would breakup parts of their subject and showcase multiple angles at once. It was created by Picasso and Braque and inspired a number of other artists. Louis Marcoussis was a minor master of this movement. His works were subtle, clean, and overall appealing.

Louis Marcoussis began his career as an Impressionist painter, but turned to Cubism after meeting Picasso

Louis Marcoussis's Night Cafe

Night Café, c. 1923
Cleveland Museum of Art

and Braque in 1910. Cubism ignited something inside him that Impressionism could not and he remained a Cubist for the rest of his career. These works were hailed for their fine handling and fresh colors and lines. Some paintings were done on glass to gain a greater precession of expression. Overall, these paintings have an uncommon clarity and ease. Musical instruments and the seaside rendered in the Cubist style were favorite subjects.

He was a gifted artist, who was able to develop his own style apart from those who influenced him like Picasso and Braque. Jean Cassou , a French writer, art critic, poet and member of the French Resistance, called him a ‘representative of the pure form of Cubism’.  Louis Marcoussis also experimented with ‘synthetic’ Cubism, which was a later phase of cubism and used more color and materials in the painting.

Along with painting, illustration for books also became a specialty. This included two books by Tristan Tzara, poet and one of the founders of Dada.


Kenny Ackerman is an Art Dealer in New York, specializing in Fine Art Paintings from 19th-21st century Europe and America. To buy or sell original paintings by Louis Marcoussis, contact Ackerman’s Fine Art here.


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