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Georges Braque (1882-1963)


Georges Braque (1882-1963)
signed 'G Braque' (lower left); inscribed 'L'Entonnoir' (on the reverse)
oil on canvas
17 x 28¾ in. (43.2 x 73 cm.)
Painted in 1941
Aimé Maeght, Paris.
Anonymous sale, Sotheby's, London, 25 November 1959, lot 64.
George Waechter Memorial Foundation, Geneva, by whom acquired at the above sale, until at least 1996.
Cahiers d'Art, 1940-1944, Paris, p. 106 (illustrated).
S. Fumet, Georges Braque, Paris, 1945, pl. 15 (illustrated in colour).
J. Paulhaun, Braque le patron, Geneva, 1947, p. 165 (illustrated). Galerie Maeght (ed.), Catalogue de l'oeuvre de Georges Braque, Peintures, 1936-1941, Paris, 1961, p. 93 (illustrated).
Amsterdam, Stedelijk Museum, Braque, 1945, no. 22.
Paris, Galerie Maeght, Braque, 1947, no. 4.
Copenhagen, Udstillingen ved Charlottenborg & Stockholm, Galerie Blanche (l'Association pour l'Art Français), April - May 1949.
Basel, Kunsthalle, Braque, 1960, no. 70.
Paris, Exposition de l'Impressionnisme à l'Ecole de Paris, 1960, no. 9.
Geneva, Musée de l'Athénée, Braque, 1960.
Munich, Haus der Kunst, Georges Braque, 1963, no. 103.
Paris, Orangerie des Tuileries, Chefs-d'oeuvre de collections suisses de Manet à Picasso, 1967, no. 225.
Paris, Musée du Louvre, Georges Braque, 1973 - 1974.
Munich, Kunsthalle, Georges Braque, 1988, no. 51.
New York, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Georges Braque, 1988, no. 59.
Special notice
VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 17.5% on the buyer's premium.

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Lot Essay

Painted in 1941 and resonating with the elegant simplicity of the artist's wartime still-lifes, L'entonnoir is a fine example of the genre of which Georges Braque was such an unparalleled master. Braque regarded himself as the heir of Jean-Baptiste Chardin and Paul Cézanne, ennobling the most mundane of objects through a clear and implacably strict inner logic, the underpinnings of which were based on pictorial solutions he and Picasso had proposed during their cubist experiments. Disregarding the prevailing artistic tendencies toward surrealism, expressionism, and the return to realism, he instead set about exclusively applying the constructs of cubism, which was for him a limitless language, the fundamental rhetoric of which could never be exhausted. Setting his austere objects on a simple tabletop, the strength of the present painting resides in the immutable relationship between the three main elements of the composition, set boldly on a bright tablecloth against a patterned background.

'Still-life has always been the speciality of Braque's genius. Seldom has painting been used to confer so much enchantment on such ordinary things: loaves of bread, knives, packets of cigarettes, fruit, flowers, and innumerable domestic accessories... Like Chardin before him, Braque takes us into the salon, the kitchen, the bedroom, the dining-room, even into his own studio in pursuit of reality: nothing is too humble to find a place in one of his pictures... So, from the lowliest objects Braque extracts a new poetry as he paints, and our experience of the world becomes fuller and more exciting. If we will look, Braque will teach us to see, and this, after all, is the highest function of the true artist' (D. Cooper, 'Georges Braque: The Evolution of a Vision', in exh. cat., G. Braque, Tate Gallery, London, 1956, pp. 14-15).

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