"..in the still-life you have a tactile, I might almost say a manual space.. This answered to the hankering I have always had to touch things and not merely see them.. In tactile space you measure the distance separating you from the object, whereas in visual space you measure the distance separating things from each other. This is what led me, long ago, from landscape to still-life"
Thus explained the French artist Georges Braque, who along with Pablo Picasso founded the Cubist style of the early twentieth century. Though Picasso is more of a household name today (at least outside of France), Braque, if anything, concentrated in a more focused manner upon Cubism in his work, while Picasso was more inclined towards dallying with or incorporating other stylistic elements and approaches. Indeed, the very recorded origins of the term "Cubism", via French art critic Louis Vauxcelles, lay in the describing of Braque's works as being "full of little cubes". This isn't a case of one artist gaining credit over another however - Braques and Picasso in fact worked side-by-side, in a very close artistic friendship, developing Cubism, with one result being that the artworks of each from part of this formative period could easily be passed off to most of us as having been the work of the other.
As suggested by the opening quote to this entry, Braque possessed a great affection for the still life on account of its intimate qualities, as well as its innate suitability to experimentation with perspective. Given both his appreciation of that relationship between art and viewer that it allowed, and the time-period in which Georges lived and worked, it should come as little surprise to we aficionados of tobacciana that the pipe made quite a few appearances within his compositions:
Still Life with Jugs and Pipe, 1906
(One of Braque's pre-Cubist, Fauvist works.)
Violin and Pipe (le Quotidien), 1913
The Round Table, 1929
Still Life on Table, 1918
Still Life with Guitar on Table, 1918
Cafe Bar, 1919
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