Design for a Birdcage (Primary Title)

Pierre Legrain, French, 1889 - 1929 (Artist)

ca. 1922–23
Works On Paper
pencil, ink, and gouache on paper
Sheet: 17 7/8 × 11 7/8 in. (45.4 × 30.16 cm)
Not on view

Pierre Legrain collaborated with fellow French artist Paul Iribe on the interior settings and Modernist furnishings for Iribe’s avant-garde clients, including fashion designer Jacques Doucet who commissioned them in 1912 to decorate his residence on the Avenue du Bois in Paris. Later, Legrain also provided furnishings for Doucet’s residence in Neuilly, called the Studio Saint-James on the Rue Saint-James.

This watercolor design by Legrain is a preliminary sketch for the birdcage with stand, nearby in this gallery, that was commissioned by Doucet for his studio in Neuilly. It is a remarkable design for such a utilitarian object. The cage has aluminum wires, as well as lacquered wood for the frames, perches, and stand. Parchment around the feet, handles, and stretcher trims the cage and stand. The inspiration for Legrain’s furniture was drawn primarily from African tribal prototypes and Cubism.

John and Maria Shugars Fund
Image released via Creative Commons CC-BY-NC

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