Georges Braque (1882-1963)
Georges Braque (1882-1963)

Nature morte à la pipe

Georges Braque (1882-1963)
Nature morte à la pipe
signed 'G Braque' (lower left); signed again 'G Braque' (on the reverse)
oil and sand on canvas
18 x 21¾ in. (46 x 55 cm.)
Painted in 1919
Léonce Rosenberg, Paris (acquired from the artist).
Jacques Doucet, Paris (acquired from the above).
Mme Doucet, Neuilly-sur-Seine (by descent from the above, 1929).
(possibly) Jacques Seligmann & Co., Paris and New York (acquired from the above, circa 1935).
Sidney Janis Gallery, New York (by 1959).
Mr. and Mrs. James H. Clark, Dallas (by 1962).
Galerie Nathan, Zurich.
Anon. (acquired from the above); sale, Sotheby's, New York, 5 November 2002, lot 28.
Acquired at the above sale by the present owner.
L. Rosenberg, Les maîtres du Cubisme, Paris, 1920, pl. 19 (illustrated).
L'Illustration, 3 May 1930 (illustrated in color photograph).
G. Isarlov, Catalogue des oeuvres de Georges Braque, 1906-1929, Paris, 1932, p. 22, no. 262 (titled Grappe de raisin).
"Georges Braque" in Cahiers d'art, Paris, 1933 (illustrated, pl. 42; dated 1920).
Galerie Maeght, ed., Catalogue de l'oeuvre de Georges Braque: Peintures 1916-1923, Paris, 1973, no. 55 (illustrated).
New York, Sidney Janis Gallery, New Acquisitions, October-November 1959 (illustrated; dated 1920).
New York, Sidney Janis Gallery, XXth Century Artists, October-November 1960, no. 9 (illustrated; dated 1920).
The Dallas Museum for Contemporary Arts, Dallas Collects, fall 1962.
Cincinnati, The Contemporary Arts Center; Chicago, The Arts Club and Minneapolis, The Walker Art Center, Braque: An Exhibition to Honor the Artist on the Occasion of His Eightieth Anniversary, September 1962-January 1963 (illustrated; dated 1920).
The Dallas Museum for Contemporary Arts, Texas Collects 20th Century Art, May 1963, no. 7 (dated 1920).

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Brooke Lampley
Brooke Lampley

Lot Essay

Nature morte à la pipe was painted in 1919, the year that Braque re-established himself as one of the prominent figures of the Parisian art scene. This still life shows some of the elements that had become near signatures for Braque and his fellow pioneer founder of Cubism, Picasso: there are grapes, a bottle and the pipe. At the same time, the picture has been created using the combed effect and other textured marks that recall the earlier works of both artists. After a hiatus due in large part to the First World War and Braque's convalescence after an injury, he returned to his Cubism bringing a new fresh perspective. Gone is the rigid geometry, replaced by a more flowing, supple sense of form that introduces a greater sensuality that is accentuated by the use of sand to thicken and variegate the paint surface. In this picture, the round grapes appear on the brink of explosion, adding to their desirability; at the same time, Braque has clearly revelled in exploring the sense of space, and the sense of interaction between the objects, that were to become increasingly important during the inter-war years.

Braque stormed back onto the avant-garde scene in Paris in 1919 with an exhibition at the gallery of Léonce Rosenberg. This was an emphatic reminder of his importance to the development of modern art over the previous decade. Rosenberg was the first owner of this picture; it was subsequently owned by the couturier Jacques Doucet. A prominent figure in the world of fashion who dressed the ladies of the beau monde and nobility of his day, Doucet acquired several collections, having been interested in the Impressionists, and later the Eighteenth century. He then changed once more, selling his Chardins and other such pictures and acquiring instead an array of masterpieces by artists such as Braque, Matisse, Picasso and Van Gogh. Indeed, he was the owner of Picasso's Les demoiselles d'Avignon, now in the Museum of Modern Art, New York, often considered to have been the springboard of Cubism; Picasso also drew his portrait. Nature morte à la pipe was later in the collection of the Dallas-based collectors, Mr. and Mrs. James H. Clark. Focusing on the birth of abstraction and its various roots and origins, the Clarks assembled a collection that featured a number of important artists from the early 20th Century including Léger and Mondrian.

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