Trivium Art History
Albert Gleizes
Harvest Threshing, 1912 — Albert Gleizes,

Le Dépiquage des Moissons, also known as Harvest Threshing or The Harvesters, is an immense painting created in 1912, and revealed to the general public at the Salon de la Section d'Or, Galerie La Boétie in Paris, October 1912. This work, along with La Ville de Paris (City of Paris) by Robert Delaunay, is the largest and most ambitious Cubist painting undertaken during the pre-War Cubist period. Formerly in the collection of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, this monumental painting by Gleizes is exhibited at the National Museum of Western Art, in Tokyo, Japan.

The work is an oil painting on canvas with dimensions 269 x 353cm, signed and dated lower right, Gleizes, 1912. "Harvest Threshing", wrote curator and art historian Daniel Robbins for the Gleizes Guggenheim Retrospective in 1964, "summarizes Gleizes' interest in presenting an epic panorama of mountains, valleys, clouds and smoke, towns, workers and wheat, a simultaneous celebration of the harvest, nature and man in idealistic harmony."

While the still-life and nude are common themes of pre-World War I Cubism, the work of Gleizes is characterized by ambitious subjects: the harvest, the hunt, the city, and, later, Broadway in New York City, and the Brooklyn Bridge (1915, Guggenheim, New York), one of his most abstract paintings of this period. Gleizes took this, according to Peter Brooke, as symbolic of the need to express the whole vast drama, the collection of unprecedented sensations of modern life. Harvest Threshing represents a big subject, rich in plastic possibilities. The interest of the painting resides in its rich and complex fabric of interwoven latticework, with 'the institution of relations between straight lines and curves' or the 'thousand surprises of fire and of shadow' proposed in Du "Cubisme".

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