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Still Life with Banderillas

Georges Braque (French, Argenteuil 1882–1963 Paris)

Date:
1911
Medium:
Oil and charcoal with sand on canvas
Dimensions:
25 3/4 x 21 5/8 in. (65.4 x 54.9 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection, 1998
Accession Number:
1999.363.11
Rights and Reproduction:
© 2011 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
  • Description

    Braque joined Picasso in Céret, a small town in the French Pyrenees, sometime during the last two weeks in August and first week of September 1911. By that time, their works had become difficult to tell apart-a phenomenon that the artists actually strove to achieve, by not signing their paintings. During the last phase of the style known as Analytic Cubism-also referred to as "high" or "hermetic"-Picasso and Braque broke down their forms ever more. Thus their compositions consisted mainly of large, abstract planes and diagonal lines. The sober palette of grays, browns, and blacks-some opaque, some not-often applied, as here, in short brushstrokes to create a dappled effect, enabled the planes to overlap and merge with one another in a shallow, relieflike space. Some tenuous links with reality survive where images of naturalistic objects, or parts of them, are incorporated in the composition.

    The banderillas of the title, which cross each other diagonally and horizontally, are the most recognizable objects in the picture. During the bullfight, these dartlike, steel-barbed, wooden sticks decorated with paper are inserted into a specific muscle of the bull's neck by the matador's assistants, the banderilleros, to injure and weaken the animal. The letters ORERO stand for the bullfighting magazine Le Torero, references to which also appear in contemporary works by Picasso, as in Still Life with a Bottle of Rum, painted at the same time in Céret. Braque, unlike Picasso, was not a bullfight enthusiast, and he probably included these tauromachian allusions-the only ones in his oeuvre-as a tribute to his friend.

  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Inscription: Signed (verso): Braque

  • Provenance

    [Galerie Kahnweiler, Paris, 1911–14; stock no. 813; acquired from the artist; sequestered Kahnweiler stock, Paris, 1914–21; second Kahnweiler sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, November 17–18, 1921, no. 26, as "Nature morte," for Fr 450 to M. Grassat for Simon]; [Galerie Simon, Paris, 1921–24; stock no. 6851]; Jacques Zoubaloff, Paris (1924–35; his sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, November 27–28, 1935, no. 124, as "Nature morte aux banderilles," for Fr 3,500); Armand Salacrou, Paris and Le Havre; [Galerie Louise Leiris, Paris, 1955–c. 1959; stock no. 6851]; Mr. and Mrs. Leigh B. Block, Chicago (c. 1959–79; sold in 1979 to Thaw); [E. V. Thaw & Co., Inc. and Acquavella Galleries, New York, 1979; sold to Gelman]; Jacques and Natasha Gelman, Mexico City and New York (1979–his d. 1986); Natasha Gelman, Mexico City and New York (1986–d. 1998; her bequest to MMA)

  • Exhibition History

    Paris. Musée des Arts Décoratifs. "Cinquante ans de peinture française dans les collections particulières de Cézanne à Matisse," March–April 1952, no. 19 (as "Nature morte aux banderilles").

    Washington. National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. "100 European Paintings & Drawings from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Leigh B. Block," May 4–June 11, 1967, no. 47 (as "Still Life with Banderillas").

    Los Angeles County Museum of Art. "100 European Paintings & Drawings from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Leigh B. Block," September 21–November 2, 1967, no. 47.

    Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. "One Hundred European Paintings & Drawings from the Collection of Mr. & Mrs. Leigh B. Block," February 2–April 14, 1968, no. 47.

    Saint Paul de Vence. Fondation Maeght. "Georges Braque," July 5–September 30, 1980, no. 40 (as "Nature morte aux banderilles," lent by a private collection, New York).

    London. Tate Gallery. "The Essential Cubism: Braque, Picasso & their friends, 1907–1920," April 27–July 10, 1983, no. 18 (as "Still life with a Pair of Banderillas," lent by Mr. and Mrs. Jacques Gelman, Mexico).

    New York. Museum of Modern Art, New York. "Picasso and Braque: Pioneering Cubism," September 24, 1989–January 16, 1990, unnumbered cat. (p. 202) [exhibited through November 1989].

    New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Twentieth Century Modern Masters: The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection," December 12, 1989–April 1, 1990, unnumbered cat. (p. 111).

    London. Royal Academy of Arts. "Twentieth Century Modern Masters: The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection," April 19–July 15, 1990, unnumbered cat.

    Mexico City. Centro Cultural Arte Contemporaneo. "La Colección de Pintura Mexicana de Jacques y Natasha Gelman," June 23–October 11, 1992 (ill. p. 12).

    Martigny. Fondation Pierre Gianadda. "De Matisse à Picasso: Collection Jacques et Natasha Gelman," June 18–November 1, 1994, unnumbered cat. (p. 135).

    New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Painters in Paris: 1895 1950," March 8, 2000–January 14, 2001, unnumbered cat. (p. 70; as "Still Life with a Pair of Banderillas").

    Fort Worth. Kimbell Art Museum. "Picasso and Braque: The Cubist Experiment 1910 1912," May 29–August 21, 2011, no. 6.

  • References

    Guillaume Janneau. L'Art cubiste: Théories et réalisations, étude critique. Paris, 1929, pl. 2.

    George Isarlov. Georges Braque. Paris, 1932, p. 17, no. 110.

    Francine du Plessix. "The Flawless Eye: Mary and Leigh Block." The Collector in America. Ed. Jean Lipman. New York, 1970, p. 112, ill. (installation photo).

    Malcolm Gee. Dealers, Critics, and Collectors of Modern Painting: Aspects of the Parisian Art Market Between 1910 and 1930. PhD. diss., Courtauld Institute of Art. New York, 1981, appendix F, pp. 54, 80, no. 93.

    Nicole Worms de Romilly and Jean Laude. [Catalogue de l'œuvre de Georges Braque]. Vol. 7, Le Cubisme, fin 1907–1914. [Paris], 1982, p. 270, no. 91, ill. p. 128 (color).

    Douglas Cooper and Gary Tinterow. The Essential Cubism: Braque, Picasso & their friends, 1907–1920. Exh. cat., Tate Gallery. London, 1983, pp. 70–71, no. 18, ill. (color).

    William S. Lieberman in Twentieth Century Modern Masters: The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection. Ed. William S Lieberman. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1989, pp. 10–11, 14–15, fig. 4 (color, installation photo).

    Gary Tinterow in Twentieth Century Modern Masters: The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection. Ed. William S Lieberman. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1989, p. 33.

    John Golding in Twentieth Century Modern Masters: The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection. Ed. William S Lieberman. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1989, p. 37.

    Sabine Rewald in Twentieth Century Modern Masters: The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection. Ed. William S Lieberman. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1989, pp. 110–12, 295, ill. (color and bw).

    William Rubin. Picasso and Braque: Pioneering Cubism. Exh. cat., Museum of Modern Art, New York. New York, 1989, ill. p. 202 (color).

    Pepe Karmel. "Appendix 2: Notes on the Dating of Works." Picasso and Braque: A Symposium. New York, 1992, pp. 331, 344.

    Isabelle de Wavrin. "L'Œil infaillible de Jacques Gelman." Beaux Arts, no. 125 (July August 1994), p. 47.

    Andrew Decker. "Metropolitan: Une Exceptionnelle donation." Beaux Arts, no. 170 (July 1998), p. 24.

    Judith H. Dobrzynski. "20th Century Art Treasures Are Left to Met." New York Times (May 6, 1998), p. B6.

    Grace Glueck. "When One City Was the Heart of Art's Youth." New York Times (March 10, 2000), p. E39.

    Gary Tinterow in Picasso in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Ed. Gary Tinterow and Susan Alyson Stein. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2010, p. 13, fig. 16 (color, installation photo).

    Claire Barry and Bart J. C. Devolder in Picasso and Braque: The Cubist Experiment 1910–1912. Exh. cat., Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth. Santa Barbara, 2011, p. 108 n. 5, pp. 111–13, 115, 117–18, 121–22, 128, no. 6, ill. (color) and fig. 22 (color detail, micrograph).

  • See also
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    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
    MetPublications
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