SPECIAL ADVISORY: In accordance with Yale University’s revised COVID-19 protocols, the Yale University Art Gallery is closed to the public until further notice. Learn More

Modern and Contemporary Art
Artist: Marthe Donas, Belgian, 1885–1967

Still Life with Profile of Pitcher

ca. 1918–19

Oil on canvas

60.2 × 40.2 × 1.9 cm (23 11/16 × 15 13/16 × 3/4 in.)
framed: 63.3 × 43.3 × 3.8 cm (24 15/16 × 17 1/16 × 1 1/2 in.)
Gift of Collection Société Anonyme
In the catalogue of the Société Anonyme Collection, the society’s cofounder Katherine S. Dreier called Marthe Donas “the first woman abstract painter.” Although Dreier was not technically correct in her assessment, she clearly had been impressed by Donas’s own brand of Cubism, one that bore the stamp of Amédée Ozenfant’s and Le Corbusier’s Purism, a style in which familiar still-life objects such as vases or oranges are abstracted with architectural objectivity, rendering the everyday statuesque. Donas’s paintings are also remarkable for the artist’s luminous palette, which bears similarities to those of other Cubist painters in her Paris circle, such as Sonia Delaunay.
Not on view
20th century

Der Sturm, Berlin, to 1922; Katherine Dreier, 1922–41; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn.


Collection of the Société Anonyme: Museum of Modern Art 1920 (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1950), 18.

Robert L. Herbert, Eleanor S. Apter, and Elise K. Kenney, The Société Anonyme and the Dreier Bequest at Yale University: A Catalogue Raisonné (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1984), 200, no. 201, ill.

Ruth L. Bohan et al., The Société Anonyme: Modernism for America, ed. Jennifer Gross, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2006), 172, ill.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.