Marcel Duchamp

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Marcel Duchamp, born on 28 July 1887, was known for his work in various creative fields namely sculpturing, painting and writing. In fact he is known as being one of the few artists who are responsible for the astounding progress in the plastic arts.

Born in France, Marcel was brought up in a family with a love for art. His grandmother was an artist, whose work reigned his home. Perhaps, this was responsible for Marcel’s early inclination towards painting. In fact, out of six of his siblings, three became artists and pretty successful ones at that.

Marcel’s childhood was spent in the company of his sister since both his brothers were away from home to complete their respective studies. Following their footsteps, Marcel too left home at the age of eight to pursue his studies. For the next couple of years, Marcel was made to indulge in education of the more pedantic sort. He was average student though he did remarkably well in math. During 1903, his drawing began to come in the limelight when he began to win a number of prizes in the field.

Academically, he sought help in art from his teacher. However, his true inspiration came from his brother who too was an artist. It was at the age of fourteen that he began submerging himself in serious forms of art.

From 1904 to 1905, Marcel began to formally study art in the Julian. He sold a number of cartoons which brought his humorous side in front of his audience. Soon after, his compulsory participation in the military services commenced where learned a lot about the processes of printing. The techniques came to his use during much of his later work.

Marcel’s first popular and extremely controversial piece came to the fore in 1912. He named it Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2. No one agreed to display this painting until Marcel changed its name. Marcel obviously did not agree and quietly took the painting back to his home in a taxi before submitting the painting in 1913 to Armory Show.

Around the same time, Marcel read the “The Ego and Its Own”. He thoroughly enjoyed the read and it is speculated to be a major turning point in Marcel’s life. In 1912, Marcel traveled to Munich where he began painting “Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even”. It took around ten years for Marcel to complete this work.

In 1913 Marcel withdrew temporarily from arts. Instead, he started to work as a librarian where he studied a number of different subjects like math and physics. Soon after, World War I broke out. Marcel was rather upset over the lives lost in the war. His sentiments is what made him start his famous movement called Dada. However his protest was short lived and lasted for only ten years. Marcel then produced a number of his famous works like his Mona Lisa Parody and Bottle Rack.

However, around 1923, Marcel had completely abandoned arts. Instead he was more involved in the game of chess. In 1932 he collaborated with a famous chess player and produced a book on a variety of chess tricks and maneuvers

Marcel Duchamp died on the October 2, 1968 in France peacefully. He was an atheist and was married twice-Once to Lydie Sarazin-Lavassor in 1923 and the second time to Alexina “Teeny” Sattler  in 1954. His death was followed by a dinner with his friends. He died of heart failure and was buried in France.

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