Artwork Detail

Nature morte et verre (Still Life with Glass)
French, 1882–1963
Oil on canvas
20 3/16 x 25 5/8 "
University purchase, Kende Sale Fund, 1946
WU 3807
Artist Rights Society, Inc. (ARS)
In the 1900s and 1910s Georges Braque, along with Pablo Picasso, was instrumental in the development of Cubism and the renunciation of perspectival illusionism in painting. Throughout much of his career Braque painted still lifes, associating the genre with objects at close range. This late Cubist painting from the 1930s shows a wooden table covered with a patterned tablecloth and a group of objects including a pipe, a glass, a fruit bowl with a bunch of grapes, and the letters J O R. Several of these items are depicted from multiple perspectives at once. For example, the glass, though rendered volumetrically, is shown both from above and straight on, while the tabletop is rendered flat in parallel to the flatness of the painting surface. The letters J O R suggest the French word journal (newspaper) with the U elided as though concealed by the fold of the pages. Through the combination of these different spatial representations Braque created a complicated system that hovers between the painterly illusion of physical presence and the flatness of the canvas itself. [Permanent collection label, 2016]