"The period immediately following the war was the most consistent of Gris' career. During this time he often achieved an utterly fluid interpenetration of pictorial structure with incidents of an observed reality. In so doing, he became the leader, in effect, of a movement known as 'Cubist-Classicism'. Among the Classicists were Andr Lhote, Jean Metzinger, Gino Severini, Diego Rivera, and Jacques Lipchitz. Most were showing at the gallery of Lonce Rosenberg, along with Gris...Gris continued to prefer the 'poetic' aspect of his work during this period. With the reciprocal relationship of structure to object, his compositions yield a certain lyricism" (M. Rosenthal, Exh. cat., Juan Gris Washington/Berkeley/New York, 1983-1984, p. 101).
Verre et bouteille has a particularly distinguished provenance. It was initially handled by Lonce Rosenberg, one of the foremost patrons of the Parisian avant-guard, whose Galerie de l'Effort Moderne arranged pivotal early exhibitions by Gris, Lger, Picasso and Severini. The present painting was also formerly in the collection of Douglas Cooper (1911-1984), the acclaimed art historian and critic, who from 1927 amassed one of the world's most outstanding collections of Cubist painting.
In 1977 Cooper published the catalogue raisonn of Gris' work (op. cit.) and was fundamental in establishing Gris' reputation: "from his first publication on Gris in 1935, Cooper stressed Gris' role as one of the four major Cubist artists, while also stressing his distinctive character. He characterized Gris as more rational or intellectual in his approach to Cubism...than Braque or Picasso. He found that Gris never fell into a pragmatic approach, but rather, he knew how to temper science with intuition'. There was a 'contemporary side of his nature - the lyrical as opposed to the severe' (D. Kosinski, Douglas Cooper and the Masters of Cubism, Basel, 1987, p. 96).
The painting also once belonged to Roland Penrose, the celebrated English critic who owned a fascinating range of classic modern European pictures including works by Magritte, Picasso and Gris.