fbpx
Connect with us

DailyArtMagazine.com – Art History Stories

The Old Man And The Art: Ernest Hemingway’s Art Collection

20th century

The Old Man And The Art: Ernest Hemingway’s Art Collection

Ernest Hemingway was a famous writer, that’s a fact. But not everyone knows he was also an art collector and that he began already in his early days in Paris. Ernest and his first wife, Hadley, first came to Paris in 1921. Soon after their arrival, they became well acquainted with the other writers and many of the great masters of the twentieth-century painting, among them Miró, Masson, Gris, and Picasso. Hemingway also befriended Gertrude Stein who was a collector of contemporary art, who urged the young writer to learn more about art. This is how it all started. Here we present stories of the most famous paintings from Hemingway’s collection.

Joan Miró, The Farm

Ernest Hemingway (in tuxedo) and unidentified in front of Miro's "The Farm" at Finca Vigia. Source: J.F.K Library Top and bottom borders of original print are not parallel, as reflected in this scan.

The Farm was made by Joan Miró between the summer of 1921 and winter 1922. It is a kind of inventory of the masia which is a traditional catalan farmhouse owned by his family since 1911 in the town of Mont-roig del Camp. Miró himself regarded this work as a key in his career, describing it as “a summary of my entire life in the countryside” and “the summary of one period of my work, but also the point of departure for what was to follow.” Ernest Hemingway bought Miró’s painting as a birthday present for his first wife, Hadley; after paying off the last installment of the 5,000 francs it cost, he brought The Farm home: “In the open taxi the wind caught the big canvas as though it were a sail, and we made the taxi driver crawl along.” Hemingway later said, “No one could look at it and not know it had been painted by a great painter.” Now the painting is preserved in the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC, where it was given in 1987 by Mary Hemingway.

Juan Gris, The Guitar Player

Juan Gris, The Guitar Player, private collection

Juan Gris, The Guitar Player, 1926, private collection

Juan Gris, The Bullfighter

Juan Gris, The Bull Fighter, 1913, private collection

Juan Gris, The Bull Fighter, 1913, private collection

In 1931, Hemingway and his second wife, Pauline Pfeiffer, purchased The Guitar Player (1926) and The Bullfighter (1913), both by their friend Juan Gris. The latter work would be reproduced as the frontispiece for Hemingway’s treatise on bull fighting Death in the Afternoon(1932).

André Masson, The Throw of the Dice

Andre Masson, A Throw of the Dice, 1922, oil on canvas, Essen Museum, Germany.

Andre Masson, A Throw of the Dice, 1922, oil on canvas, Essen Museum, Germany.

 A Throw of the Dice is a Cubist-influenced reference to Stéphane Mallarmé’s Un Coup de dés jamais n’abolira le hazard, and/or Igitur. Throwing of the dice, is the representation of human power, and the “hazard,” which it cannot succeed in mastering. A Throw of the Dice is filled with references to events and personal experiences as well as to acquaintances who gathered in his studio on the rue Blomet. The painting was bought by Ernest Hemingway directly from the artist’s studio. The writer owned couple of Masson’s works – five of them are now in John F. Kennedy Library in Boston.

Paul Klee, Monument Under Construction

Ernest Hemingway and Fernando Campoamor (local Cuban journalist) at Finca Vigia. Pictured behind them on the far right is a painting by Paul Klee titled "Monument Under Construction". Source: J.F.K. Library, Boston

Ernest Hemingway and Fernando Campoamor (local Cuban journalist) at Finca Vigia. Pictured behind them on the far right is a painting by Paul Klee titled “Monument Under Construction”. Source: J.F.K. Library, Boston

Monument Under Construction (1929) features a barely articulated colossal head with buttonlike turquoise eyes and tiny figures on ladders or scaffolding reaching for the head’s eyebrow and lip. Hemingway bought this painting in Berlin.

Find out more:

     

 

Art Historian, founder and CEO of DailyArtMagazine.com and DailyArt mobile app. But to be honest, her greatest accomplishment is being the owner of Pimpek the Cat.

Comments

More in 20th century

  • Arenig School Arenig School

    20th century

    Arenig School. Wild Bohemians and Welsh Mountains

    By

    Welcome to a rollicking adventure with the Arenig School of automatic painting starring Augustus John, James Dickson Innes, and Derwent Lees. Arenig Fawr is a majestic mountain in Snowdonia in Wales. Between 1911 and 1913 three unconventional artists lived and breathed the wild landscape here, possessed...

  • 20th century

    The Prime Minister’s Art: Landscapes of Winston Churchill

    By

    The English statesman Winston Churchill is one of the most respected and admired men in the world. His role as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, especially during World War II, has made him a well-known figure. It is, however, less known that Churchill was a...

  • 20th century

    Kyffin Williams and the Welsh Landscape

    By

    The Welsh landscapes have inspired artists, poets, and writers for generations. But, for one 20th century artist, they were more than just a subject for the canvas, they were a metaphor for melancholic isolation, for power, and comfort. John Kyffin Williams was born in 1918 in...

  • 20th century

    Explore the Unknown World of Klimt’s Landscapes

    By

    When you think of Gustav Klimt, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? If you’re like most people, you probably thought of his portraits and other people paintings. You might not realize that he also painted many other things. In fact, he made quite a...

  • The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living 1991 2170 x 5420 x 1800 mm | 85.5 x 213.4 x 70.9 in Glass, painted steel, silicone, monofilament, shark and formaldehyde solution Formaldehyde Image: Photographed by Prudence Cuming Associates © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2012 The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living 1991 2170 x 5420 x 1800 mm | 85.5 x 213.4 x 70.9 in Glass, painted steel, silicone, monofilament, shark and formaldehyde solution Formaldehyde Image: Photographed by Prudence Cuming Associates © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2012

    20th century

    The Story of Damien Hirst’s Famous Shark

    By

    This shark is considered the iconic work of British art from the 1990s and has become a symbol of Britart worldwide. It was funded by Charles Saatchi who in 1991 offered to pay for whatever artwork the artist wanted to create. The shark itself cost Damien Hirst £6,000...

To Top