Georges BRAQUE (Argenteuil 1882 - Paris 1963)

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Georges BRAQUE (Argenteuil 1882 - Paris 1963)
Dionysus, 1963
Lithograph in colors from the series of METAMORPHOSES of Georges BRAQUE created between 1961 and 1963. "The object is to space what music is to silence". On Arches paper with canvas, printed at 199 copies, numbered 88/199, stamped by the publisher ARMAND ISRAEL - BARON de LOEWENFELD.
Framed, signed.
65 x 50 cm
If there is a painter of the 20th century who embodies "the honor of France" as Malraux said, it is Georges BRAQUE. An intimate of Picasso, Derain, Apollinaire, Gris, Laurens, Léger, Satie, Reverdy, de Staël and many other famous names, he is at the centre of the cultural revolutions that shook the century.
Fauvism: In 1906, Georges BRAQUE discovered the Fauvism of Matisse and Derain. The Fauvist period lasted barely a year and a half. However, Georges BRAQUE found in this movement a way to move away from academicism and explore the unknown lands of colour. From his stay in the south of France, he selected 6 paintings that he exhibited at the 1907 Salon des Indépendants. Georges BRAQUE made two essential discoveries there, that of his first dealer, Daniel Henry Kanhweiler, who bought one of the six paintings, and that his art was selling, Wilhelm Uhde buying the other five paintings.
Cubism: The following year, at the Salon d'Automne, where only one of BRAQUE's seven paintings was accepted, a retrospective of Cézanne, who had died a year earlier, was offered to the public. Georges BRAQUE, deeply inspired by these paintings, decided to make a third trip to Estaque to study and deepen the theories of the master of Aix. Before this trip, Georges BRAQUE was still a Fauvist. On his return, he carried within him the foundations of what would become his great work: cubism.
Cubism, which was to revolutionise the plastic rhythms of painting and give it a new trajectory, still has grey areas as to the determination of its origin. It was not easy at first to define the authorship and inspirations of the first cubist works which put two painting geniuses in opposition at the beginning of the 20th century: Georges BRAQUE on the one hand, a brilliant creator of a new pictorial space, an intellectual with the balanced temperament of a craftsman, modest, of good sense and with a balanced personal life, preferring the shadow and interiority to the excess of light fanned by Pablo Picasso on the other hand, with extraordinary artistic virtuosity, gifted with an uncommon vista, with an extroverted personality and an eventful life.
This relationship, which Georges BRAQUE described as a "mountain climb", fundamental to the work of the two painters, and a key chapter in the history of art, ended in 1914 with Georges BRAQUE's mobilisation for the First World War, from which he returned with a brain injury in 1915, and convalesced until 1917. Although he deepened his cubism until 1922, Georges BRAQUE manifested another way of approaching painting, according to determined themes.
The thematic period: This is the third phase of his work, the thematic period. Georges BRAQUE then devoted himself to the analysis of different themes, trying to explore all the possibilities of composition, to finally lay them bare, with the aim of showing all the faculties of the object and then of the subject. Through these recurring themes, Georges BRAQUE also wanted to perfect his pictorial conceptions to the extreme limit of their possibilities. Within these themes, fundamental works of the painter's career will emerge, such as "the billiards", for which he will be rewarded at the Venice Biennale, the famous Barques from Normandy landscapes, where he regularly goes since he had a studio built in Varengeville -sur-mer, and of course "the birds".
The Metamorphoses: In the evening of his life, Georges BRAQUE selected for the "Metamorphoses", the last period of his work, a hundred of his major works which were retranscribed into gouache models created in two dimensions, to transform them, no longer virtually as he did in his analytical and then synthetic cubism, but physically, through the third dimension. All these works will bear names from Greek mythology, dear to Georges BRAQUE, who had already created his own version of Hesiod's theogony. For his "Metamorphoses", in reference to those of Ovid, another founding text of Greek mythology, he chose a lapidary sculptor, Heger de Loewenfeld. Their work will be punctuated, at the request of André Malraux, by an exhibition at the Louvre Palace. Georges BRAQUE was already the first painter to enter the Louvre in his lifetime, painting the salon of the Salle Henri II in 1953. The exhibition was held from March to May 1963. Three months later, Georges BRAQUE died. Malraux had a national tribute voted and pronounced the exhibition a national tribute.
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