Bouteille et fruits (Bottle and Fruits)

Georges Braque

Argenteuil-sur-Seine, France, 1882 - Paris, France, 1963

Bouteille et fruits (Bottle and Fruits) belonged to the same family for many years, so it is not a well-known painting among the general public. As for the date, although some scholars argue that it must have been done before Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque shared their respective pictorial experiences in Céret in summer 1911, the conceptual execution of Bouteille et fruits has quite a lot in common with some works by Picasso from exactly the same time. Although it comes very close to the Cubist phase known as Hermetic Cubism, Bouteille et fruits still maintains certain references to reality, which can be seen in the various motifs that form the scene: some fruit (pears and an apple), lying on a table next to a glass vase and a bottle. Without taking his eye off the compositional construction of Paul Cézanne’s still lifes, Braque brings in one of the elements that constitute the hallmarks of his entire output, lyricism and poetry, distilled by each one of the picture’s objects. The brushstrokes, applied in short dabs one next to the other, are a reminder of the artist’s past as a member of the Fauvists, while the range of colours – which remains within the strictest Cubist orthodoxy – anticipated the elegance and tonal harmony of Braque’s future output.

Paloma Esteban Leal