Before reporting for mandatory military service in the summer of 1909, Braque visited the town of La Roche-Guyon, on the Seine northwest of Paris. This canvas is one of five views he painted of the local castle, a ruined twelfth-century tower situated on a chalk cliff above a fortified manor house. Taking his cue from Cézanne’s landscapes, Braque incorporated a high horizon line, vertically stacked motifs, and faceted planes that tumble forward into the viewer’s space. A central lozengelike shape—one of Braque’s favorite compositional devices during these years—stabilizes the composition, which is rendered in a cascade of shimmering fragments.
[Galerie Kahnweiler, Paris, ca. 1909–10; inv. no. 349, photo no. 1119; as 1909; probably sold in 1909–10 for Fr 100, to Dutilleul]; Roger Dutilleul, Paris (probably 1909/10–d. 1956); his nephew, Jean Masurel, Mouvaux (1956–d. 1991); his widow, Geneviève Masurel (née Geneviève Roche de la Rigodière), Paris (1991–d. 2003); her heirs, France (2003–04; sold in December 2004 to Lauder); Leonard A. Lauder, New York (from 2004)
Kunsthalle Basel. "Georges Braque," April 9–May 14, 1933, no. 27 (as "Altes Schloß in La Roche Guyon").
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Cubism: The Leonard A. Lauder Collection," October 20, 2014–February 16, 2015, no. 4.
George Isarlov. Georges Braque. Paris, 1932, pp. 15–16, no. 50, as "Le Vieux Château de la Roche-Guyon".
Georges Braque. Exh. cat., Kunsthalle Basel. Basel, 1933, p. 16, no. 27.
André Lejard. Braque. London, 1949, pl. 3, as "Paysage".
Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler. Les Années héroïques du Cubisme. Paris, 1950, ill. no. 31, as "La Roche-Guyon: Le vieux château".
Jean Grenier. "Un collectionneur pionnier." L'Oeil no. 15 (March 1956), ill. p. 40, as "La Roche-Guyon: Le vieux château".
Nicole Worms de Romilly and Jean Laude. [Catalogue de l'œuvre de Georges Braque]. Vol. , Le Cubisme, fin 1907–1914. [Paris], 1982, p. 263, no. 41, ill. p. 93, as "La vieux château de la Roche-Guyon/The Old Castle, La Roche-Guyon" (erroneously as in the collection of the Pushkin Museum, Moscow).
Judith Cousins inPicasso and Braque: Pioneering Cubism. Ed. William Rubin. Exh. cat., Museum of Modern Art. New York, 1989, p. 361 (French ed., 1990, German ed., 1990, and Spanish ed., 1991, p. 350).
Holland Cotter. "When Cubism Fractured Art's Delicate World." New York Times (December 30, 2005), p. E38.
Claude Frontisi inGeorges Braque et le paysage: De l'Estaque à Varengeville, 1906–1963. Exh. cat., Musée Cantini, Marseille. Paris, 2006, fig. 68.
"Objects Promised to the Museum during the Year 2012–2013." The Metropolitan Museum of Art, One Hundred Forty-third Annual Report of the Trustees for the Fiscal Year July 1, 2012, through June 30, 2013 (2013), p. 45, as "The Old Castle at Roche-Guyon".
Isabelle Monod-Fontaine inCubism: The Leonard A. Lauder Collection. Ed. Emily Braun and Rebecca Rabinow. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2014, pp. 59–65, 306(1)n.20, no. 4, ill. p. 63 (color).
Anna Jozefacka and Luise Mahler inCubism: The Leonard A. Lauder Collection. Ed. Emily Braun and Rebecca Rabinow. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2014, pp. 244–45, fig. 4 (in Ref. Grenier 1956).