Jean Metzinger was one of the painters on whose artistic thinking the ‘June 7, 1909 incident’ had a greater impact. The round shape of the flying saucer that perched on top of Le-Bateau-Lavoir that night inspired young Metzinger to formulate what would become a basic premise of Cubism, expressed by him in this simple maxim: “If you want to paint it, run around it!” In other words, to paint an object properly, first you have to move around it in order to see it from all sides simultaneously. Note that this is no small feat. To be successful in seizing the object from all angles fused into a single image you have to move at high speed. The faster the better. This will not only give you a complete perspective of the object but, if you run around fast enough and long enough, you will experience the object within you in the form of a pronounced dizziness. It’s in this altered state of consciousness that the cubist artist paints the object. And if instead of an object it’s a subject what is intended to paint, then the artist and his model must run around each other as they turn upon themselves like spinning tops. In this way, the model will also acquire a total perspective of the artist, being thus able to paint him at the same time in what has been called «reciprocal portrait». (In the case of a self-portrait, the artist must run around a table faster and faster until he can see himself on his back.)


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