Paul IV

Chuck Close (American, born in 1940)


264.2 x 208.3 cm (104 x 82 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Oil on canvas

Not On View


Americas, Contemporary Art



Known for his monumental portraits, Close frequently portrays fellow artists as his subject. Paul IV depicts Paul Cadmus (1904-1999), an American social realist best known for his figurative paintings from the 1930s. Somewhat rare in its use of a profile view rather than a frontal one, Paul IV is an excellent example of Close’s later grid-like compositions consisting of individual squares filled with concentric ovals and circles that create the effect of hundreds of multi-colored abstract compositions. Viewed up close, attention is placed on his painterly abstractions, but viewed from afar, these colored squares remarkably dissolve into the likeness of the sitter.


By 2002, with Pace Wildenstein, New York; 2003, sold by Pace Wildenstein to the MFA. (Accession Date: June 25, 2003)

Credit Line

Museum purchase with funds by exchange from the M. and M. Karolik Fund, Ernest Wadsworth Longfellow Fund, Tompkins Collection--Arthur Gordan Tompkins Fund and donated from the Henry and Lois Foster Contemporary Purchase Fund, The Hayden Collection--Charles Henry Hayden Fund, Sophie M. Friedman Fund, Frank B. Bemis Fund, Emily L. Ainsley Fund, A. Shuman Collection--Abraham Shuman Fund, James E. Neill Memorial Fund, Lorna and Robert Rosenberg Fund, Doran Family Fund for Contemporary Artists created in memory of Stephen D. Paine, Robert Jordan Fund, Frederick L. Jack Fund, M. Theresa B. Hopkins Fund, Ives Family Fund, Contemporary Curator's Fund, JoAnn McGrath, and Stephen D. and Susan W. Paine Acquisition Fund for 20th Century and Contemporary Art


© Chuck Close, courtsey The Pace Gallery.