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The Studio (Vase before a Window)

Georges Braque (French, Argenteuil 1882–1963 Paris)

Date:
1939
Medium:
Oil mixed with sand on canvas
Dimensions:
44 1/2 x 57 1/2 in. (113 x 146.1 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
The Walter H. and Leonore Annenberg Collection, Gift of Walter H. and Leonore Annenberg, 1993, Bequest of Walter H. Annenberg, 2002
Accession Number:
1993.400.6
Rights and Reproduction:
© 2011 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
  • Description

    Georges Braque was born in Argenteuil near Paris, and raised in Le Havre. Initially apprenticed to a house painter, he studied art at the Académie Humbert in Paris from 1902 to 1904. His art underwent several stylistic changes during his life. About 1906 he, along with his friend Othon Friesz, briefly adopted Fauvism. After he attended the memorial exhibition for Paul Cézanne in 1907, his work reflected more geometric analysis. That year Braque met Pablo Picasso, with whom he collaborated closely on the development of Cubism (1907–14). Their intense relationship, however, did not continue after World War I. After being discharged from the army with a severe head injury in 1915, Braque resumed painting again in 1917.


    Braque withdrew and, living in semiseclusion, created still lifes, interiors, and, occasionally, landscapes that combine the formal innovations of Cubism with greater emphasis on the decorative, sensuous, and lyrical aspects of painting. By the 1930s he was internationally recognized as a still-life painter.


    In this oil Braque presents a view of his studio, which he had built in 1931 at Varengeville, a small village on the Norman coast near Dieppe. Light from the central window streams into the room, illuminating the flower still life and the palette with brushes at the left and the wicker stool and easel holding a painting at the right. The colorful interior is a sea of merry patterns: floral wallpaper, wood grain, and the basket weave of the chair seat. The patterning continues to the exterior in the cloud-dappled sky.


    This oil and the series of large paintings of the same interior that Braque executed between 1946 and 1956 might be regarded as the artist's meditations on his works, both past and present, as well as his surroundings, both real and imagined.

  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Inscription: Signed and dated (lower left): G Braque / 39

  • Provenance

    the artist (1939; sold before April to Rosenberg); [Paul Rosenberg & Co., Paris and New York, 1939–68; stock no. 4111; looted from Rosenberg at Floirac in September 1940, as "Grande nature morte au tabouret de paille," and restituted to his private collection after the war; sold by Alexandre Rosenberg on January 19, 1968, to Simon]; Norton Simon, Los Angeles (1968–70); his former wife, Lucille Ellis Simon, Los Angeles (1970–at least 1988; sold to Acquavella); [Acquavella Galleries, New York, until 1990; sold on March 12 to Annenberg]; Walter H. and Leonore Annenberg, Rancho Mirage, California (1990–93; jointly with MMA, 1993–his d. 2002; his bequest to MMA)

  • Exhibition History

    Paris. Paul Rosenberg. "Exposition Braque (Œuvres récentes)," April 4–29, 1939, no. 8 (as "Vase devant la fenêtre").

    London. Rosenberg & Helft. "Braque Exhibition: Recent Works," June 6–July 8, 1939, no. 13 (as "Vase devant la fenêtre").

    Cleveland Museum of Art. "Georges Braque," January 26–March 13, 1949, no. 75 (as "The Studio," lent by Paul Rosenberg, New York).

    New York. The Museum of Modern Art. "Georges Braque," March 29–June 12, 1949, no. 75.

    Edinburgh. Royal Scottish Academy. "G. Braque: An Exhibition of Paintings," August 18–September 15, 1956, no. 76 (as "The Studio," lent from a private collection, U. S. A.).

    London. Tate Gallery. "G. Braque: An Exhibition of Paintings," September 28–November 11, 1956, no. 76.

    Paris. Musée du Louvre. "L'Atelier de Braque," November 1961, no. 36 (as "L'Atelier," lent from a private collection, New York).

    New York. Paul Rosenberg and Co. "Georges Braque, 1882–1963: An American Tribute. The Thirties," April 7–May 2, 1964, no. 42 (as "The Studio," lent from a private collection, New York).

    New York. Pierre Matisse Gallery. "Seven Decades, 1895–1965: Crosscurrents in Modern Art, 1935–1944," April 26–May 21, 1966, no. 229 (as "The Studio," lent by Paul Rosenberg and Co., New York).

    New York. The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. "Georges Braque," June–September 1988, no. 57 (as "The Studio [L'Atelier]," lent by Lucille Ellis Simon, Los Angeles).

    Washington. National Gallery of Art. "Masterpieces of Impressionism & Post Impressionism: The Annenberg Collection," May 6–August 5, 1990, unnumbered cat. (p. 127; as "The Studio").

    Los Angeles County Museum of Art. "Masterpieces of Impressionism & Post Impressionism: The Annenberg Collection," August 16–November 11, 1990, unnumbered cat.

    New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Masterpieces of Impressionism & Post Impressionism: The Annenberg Collection," June 4–October 13, 1991, unnumbered cat.

  • References

    Howard Devree. "Chiefly Abstract: The Braque Retrospective and Other Shows." New York Times (April 3, 1949), ill. p. X8.

    John Richardson. "The Ateliers of Braque." Burlington Magazine 97 (June 1955), pp. 164–66, fig. 4.

    Douglas Cooper. G. Braque: An Exhibition of Paintings. Exh. cat., Tate Gallery, London., 1956, pp. 19, 47, no. 76, pl. 23i.

    Maurice Gieure. G. Braque. Paris, 1956, pp. 55–56, 69, 101, pl. 95.

    "The Work of Georges Braque: Exhibited at Edinburgh." Illustrated London News 229 (September 1, 1956), p. 345, ill.

    John Russell and René Ben Sussan. G. Braque. London, 1959, pp. 29, 125, pl. 55.

    Jean Leymarie. Braque. Lausanne, 1961, pp. 8, 90–91, 95, ill. (color).

    Nicole S. Mangin. Catalogue de l'œuvre de Georges Braque. Vol. 3, Peintures 1936–1941. [Paris], 1961, ill. p. 59.

    Stanislas Fumet. Georges Braque. Paris, 1965, p. 216, ill. p. 122 (color).

    Edwin Mullins. Braque. London, 1968, p. 166, fig. 130 (color).

    Dennis Adrian. "Georges Braque's Monumental Still Lifes." Art News 71 (November 1972), pp. 31, 33.

    Douglas Cooper. Braque: The Great Years. Exh. cat., Art Institute of Chicago. Chicago, 1972, pp. 24, 77–78, 88, fig. 61.

    Raymond Cogniat. Georges Braque. New York, 1980, pp. 134, 138, colorpl. 36.

    John Russell. The Meanings of Modern Art. New York, 1981, p. 285, ill. p. 283.

    Nadine Pouillon with Isabelle Monod Fontaine. Braque:Œuvres de Georges Braque (1882–1963). Exh. cat., Musée National d'Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou. Paris, 1982, pp. 147, 150–51, under no. 36, fig. 1.

    Jean Leymarie. Georges Braque. Exh. cat., Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. Munich, 1988, unpaginated, no. 57, ill. (color).

    Magdalena M. Moeller in Jean Leymarie. Georges Braque. Exh. cat., Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. Munich, 1988, p. 29.

    Jérôme Coignard. "Le Salon de peinture de Mr. et Mrs. Annenberg." Beaux Arts, no. 92 (July–August 1991), pp. 65–66.

    Joseph J. Rishel in Masterpieces of Impressionism & Post Impressionism: The Annenberg Collection. Ed. Colin B. Bailey, Joseph J. Rishel, and Mark Rosenthal. Exh. cat., Philadelphia Museum of Art. Philadelphia, 1991, pp. 126–27, 210–11, ill. (color and bw).

    Karen Wilkin. Georges Braque. New York, 1991, fig. 57 (color).

    Sabine Rewald in "Recent Acquisitions. A Selection: 1993–1994." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 52 (Fall 1994), p. 65, ill. (color).

    Martin Ries. "Braque's Ateliers and the Symbolic Bird." Journal of Aesthetic Education 29 (Summer 1995), pp. 71, 74, 77.

    Sophie Bowness in Braque: The Late Works. Exh. cat., Royal Academy of Arts. London, 1997, p. 74, under no. 19.

    John Golding in Braque: The Late Works. Exh. cat., Royal Academy of Arts. London, 1997, pp. 7–8, 12, fig. 6.

    Ira Berkow. "Jewels in the Desert." Artnews 97 (May 1998), pp. 145, 147.

    Joseph J. Rishel in Masterpieces of Impressionism and Post Impressionism: The Annenberg Collection. Ed. Susan Alyson Stein and Asher Ethan Miller. 4th rev. ed. [1st ed., 1989]. New York, 2009, pp. 286–89, no. 54, ill. (color).

  • See also
486270

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