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Maricel Museum

Guitar, Book and Newspaper

Juan Gris (Madrid, 1887 - Boulogne-sur-Seine, França, 1927)
Guitar, Book and Newspaper
1920
Ink and graphite pencil on paper

Juan Gris (Madrid, 1887 - Boulogne-sur-Seine, França, 1927)

Guitar, Book and Newspaper

1920

Ink and graphite pencil on paper

In 1920, Juan Gris painted a gouache entitled Still Life with Guitar that coincides with the shapes of this drawing, although the composition is reversed, based on a vertical axis. We can understand this piece as an exercise in the synthesis of the Spanish Baroque still life tradition using a cubist language. It is important to remember that critics have often compared the works of this genre made by Gris with the sobriety of still lifes by Francisco de Zurbarán that the painter would have surely seen in his youth at the Museo Nacional del Prado.

The still life is a genre that is very present in Juan Gris’ paintings. In this drawing, we can see a paradigmatic sample from the catalog of shapes that this genres’ iconography develops in the cubist field: the fruit bowl, the newspaper, the book, the bottle or the table. Here, the painter manages to adapt each of the objects’ profiles, made with great purity of lines, to the framework of geometric shapes and, despite the synthesis of their volumes, they are still clearly identifiable.

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