Cahiers d’Art and the Evolution of Modernist Painting

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Journal of Modern Periodical Studies


In 1926 Christian Zervos launched Cahiers d'Art, a French art magazine that positioned itself as the defender of modern avant-garde art and the arbiter of a properly formalist modernism. The magazine resembled the long-established Gazette des Beaux Arts in the seriousness of its presentation of art and architecture. Copious large-scale reproductions demonstrated the range and significance of contemporary artistic production, while art historical studies of both distant periods and the work of living artists served to buttress the magazine's self-determined role as both the judge and defender of historically significant developments in modern art. During the 1920s and 1930s a central preoccupation of Cahiers d'Art was maintaining and expanding the reputations of prewar modern artists by publishing extensive reproductions of their historical and contemporary work.