Georges Braque

French (Argenteuil, France, 1882 - 1963, Paris, France)

Violin and Candlestick

painting | oil on canvas
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  • Violin and Candlestick

    Georges Braque, Violin and Candlestick, 1910; oil on canvas, 24 in. x 19 3/4 in. (60.96 cm x 50.17 cm); Collection SFMOMA, Gift of Rita B. Schreiber in loving memory of her husband, Taft Schreiber; © Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

This work embodies the dynamic and energetic qualities of Analytic Cubism, a revolutionary artistic style pioneered by Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso to depict three-dimensional objects on a flat canvas without the use of traditional Renaissance perspective. In this conceptual approach to painting, perceived forms are broken down, fractured, flattened, and then reconstructed in multiple-point perspective within a shallow space. Braque described this kind of fragmentation as "a technique for getting closer to the object."

Here, still-life props (some recognizable and some impossible to identify) are clustered toward the center of a gridlike armature. Braque united the objects and the background by opening up and covering over the boundaries of the black-outlined objects, and by using the same earth-toned colors for the entire painting. He transformed volumes in the still life to accommodate their multiple surfaces on a flat plane, thereby allowing the viewer to see more of the form than would be possible from a single vantage point.

24 in. x 19 3/4 in. (60.96 cm x 50.17 cm)
Acquired 1989
Collection SFMOMA
Gift of Rita B. Schreiber in loving memory of her husband, Taft Schreiber
© Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris


Cubism, gray, brown, still lifes, violins, instruments

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