Gerald Murphy. Wasp and Pear. 1929

Gerald Murphy Wasp and Pear 1929

  • Not on view

In 1922, upon discovering the Cubist paintings of Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, and Juan Gris in the window of a Paris gallery, Murphy told his wife, "If this is painting, then this is what I want to do." Soon after, he ended his career as a landscape architect and turned to painting. In Wasp and Pear, Murphy combined an abstract background with an anatomically detailed but highly stylized wasp, pear, leaf, and honeycomb. Murphy credited "the large technically drawn and colored charts of fruits, vegetables . . . [and] insects" in a classroom where he had studied during his military training as his inspiration.

Gallery label from 2012.
Oil on canvas
36 3/4 x 38 5/8" (93.3 x 97.9 cm)
Gift of Archibald MacLeish
Object number
Painting and Sculpture

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