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L'armoire de Protée



By (artist) Yves Tanguy


"In 1930 and 1931, after a trip to Africa, Yves Tanguy painted a series of landscapes/plateaux - Palais Promontoire, La Tour de l'ouest, L'Armoire de Protée - six or seven canvases in all which today occupy a place apart in his work. According to Breton, this series forms the link between the vaporous landscapes of the early years and the crystal clear compositions that came later. The tubular blocks and the jig-sawed masses of these images are clearly different from the elements that came before or after. Yves Tanguy had been greatly impressed by a curious rock formation which he had happened to see during his trip to Africa (he had, however, been indifferent to the exoticism and the traditions of the place.) His new theme suggests fortified cities-medieval or tropical-guarded by strange beacons and surrounded by enigmatic monuments. Perhaps the African light had had on him, as on numerous painters before him, an even more intense effect than the country in itself." James Thrall Soby (« Inland in the Subconscious : Yves Tanguy », in : Paris, Musée national d'art moderne / Centre Georges Pompidou, Yves Tanguy, Rétrospective 1925-1955, 1982, p. 105).


- Paris, Galerie Beaux-Arts, Exposition internationale du surréalisme, Dictionnaire abrégé du surréalisme, 1938, rep.p. 51
- André Breton, Le surréalisme et la peinture, suivi de Genèse et perspective artistiques du surréalisme et de Fragments inédits, New York, Brentano's, 1945, rep.s.p., p. 73-74
- Alain Jouffroy, « La collection André Breton », In : L'Œil, n°10, octobre 1955, rep.s.p., p. 34
- André Breton (par) avec le concours de Gérard Legrand, L'art magique, Paris, Formes et reflets, Club français de l'art, 1957, rep.s.p.
- Pierre Matisse, Yves Tanguy, Un recueil de ses œuvres, New York, Pierre Matisse, 1963, rep.p. 77, n° 119
- William S. Rubin, Dada and surrealist art, Londres, Thames and Hudson, rep. n°176, p. 192
- Patrick Waldberg, Yves Tanguy, Bruxelles, André de Rache éditeur, 1977, rep.p. 161
- Patrick Waldberg, Tanguy, peintures, Paris, L'autre musée, 1984, rep.n° 56
- Paris, Musée national d'art moderne / Centre Georges Pompidou, André Breton, la beauté convulsive, 1991, rep.p. 269

Creation date1931
Date of publication 1931
Physical description61 x 50 cm (24 x 19 5/8 in.) - Huile sur toile
From / ProvenanceAncienne collection Marcel Duchamp
Place of origin
Copyright© ADAGP, Paris, 2005.
Breton Auction, 2003Lot 4420
CategoriesModern Paintings
Set[Exhibitions] 1938, International Exhibition os Surrealism, [Exhibitions] 1947, Exposition Maeght 1947
Exhibitions1938, Exposition internationale du surréalisme , 1947, Le Surréalisme en 1947
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Place of origin
Exhibition places