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Alice au grand Chapeau - Roger de la Fresnaye 1912

Musée des Beaux Arts - Lyon

From 1912 to 1914 La Fresnaye was a member of the Section d'Or group of artists, and his work demonstrates an individual response to cubism. He was influenced by Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso, but his work has a more decorative than structural feel and his prismatic colours reflect the influence of Robert Delaunay. He was a member of the Puteaux Group, an orphist offshoot of cubism led by Jacques Villon. His most famous work is The Conquest of the Air, 1913, which depicts himself and his brother outdoors with a balloon in the background.

La Fresnaye enlisted in the French army in World War I but contracted tuberculosis and was discharged in 1918. His health deteriorated rapidly after the war. He never recovered the physical energy to undertake sustained work. In the later paintings that he did create, he abandoned cubist spatial analysis for a more linear style. He ceased painting in 1922 but continued to draw. De la Fresnaye died in Grasse in 1925 at the age of 40.