Violin and Engraving

Juan Gris Spanish

Not on view

A picture-within-a-picture attached to a board or wall was a favorite motif of trompe l’oeil artists. They astonished their patrons by using oil paint to depict work in other mediums and make “honest” forgeries of other artists’ styles. Gris outdid them—and his fellow Cubists—by pasting an actual nineteenth-century engraving into his still life (Robert Wallis’s reproduction, published in 1832, of J. M. W. Turner’s watercolor View of the Chateau at St. Germain-en-Laye). Tongue in cheek, the artist told his dealer, Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler, that the buyer of the painting could remove the print and replace it with another of his choice, which perhaps explains why the bespoke frame swings open at the side.

Violin and Engraving, Juan Gris (Spanish, Madrid 1887–1927 Boulogne-sur-Seine), Oil, sand, collage on canvas

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