Bottle of Marc Vieux

Georges Braque (French, Argenteuil 1882–1963 Paris)
Oil and charcoal on canvas
21 1/2 × 17 15/16 in. (54.6 × 45.6 cm)
Credit Line:
Leonard A. Lauder Cubist Collection, Purchase, Leonard A. Lauder Gift, 2015
Accession Number:
Rights and Reproduction:
© 2018 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 908
In this painting of a bar or café interior, Braque evokes space and depth by varying the size, opacity, and placement of letters and numbers. A sign on the back wall ("BOCK 30 c") advertises a reasonably priced mug of beer, while the “BA[L]” in the lower right refers to a dance hall. The tall shape at center is identified as a bottle of alcohol by its “Marc Vieux” label. (Braque made other compositions that include "Vieux Marc" bottles—both are brandies.) The adjacent forms can be read as a stemmed glass and curved tabletop or as part of a violin or cello, a playful ambiguity typical of Braque and Picasso’s Cubist style in the years preceding World War I.
Inscription: Signed (verso, upper left): Braque
[Galerie Kahnweiler, Paris, before August 1914; inv. no. 1001, photo no. 1048]; Jacques Rivière, Paris (probably by 1914–d.1925); his widow Isabelle Rivière, Paris (1925–d. 1971); her son Alain Rivière, Paris (1971–1973; sold in 1973 to private collection); private collection, Paris (1973–2015; sold in 2015 to MMA with funds donated by Leonard A. Lauder, New York)

George Isarlov. Georges Braque. Paris, 1932, p. 18, no. 134, as "La Bouteille de Marc".

Nicole Worms de Romilly and Jean Laude. [Catalogue de l'œuvre de Georges Braque]. Vol. [1], Le Cubisme, fin 1907–1914. [Paris], 1982, p. 275, no. 131, ill. p. 162, as "Bouteille de Marc, Vieux Marc (Bottle of Old Marc)".