- María Blanchard
- Nature Morte Cubiste
- signed M. Blanchard (lower right)
- oil on canvas
- 55 by 38cm., 21 5/8 by 15in.
Galería Jorge Mara, Madrid
Acquired from the above by the present owner circa 1998
Santander, Fondación Botin, María Blanchard. Cubista, 2012
María José Salazar, María Blanchard Catalogue raisonné 1889-1932, Madrid, 2004, no. 62, illustrated in colour p.163
The present work displays the artist’s rejection of Renaissance perspective, in favour of a more simultaneous multiple perspective, resulting in a fragmented aesthetic, where form is flattened and space loses all depth. Even to a contemporary viewer, whose eye is now familiar with the Cubist aesthetic, the present work still represents a disorientating spatial experience. The foreground is not allowed to dominate the background, and all the flattened forms are pushed right up to the picture plane, creating a precarious atmosphere, where the table no longer appears capable of supporting its wares. The genre of the still life had traditionally been a familiar and a safe one, but the present work is a remarkable example of the radicality of Cubist visual research. The angular, jarring forms jostle for space and attention, in their ever shifting environment. The forms have their own life and energy, much in the same way that the tectonic plates of the Earth do, sliding past eachother, colliding or moving apart. Challenging the idea of the still life as a reassuring vision of stability, the present work is very much a celebration of simultaneity and fluctuation. The viewer feels that at any moment, the tableware might fall from the composition.
As well as being a wonderful example of flattened, fragmented form, Nature Morte Cubiste is also testament to Blanchard’s bold palette and rich painted surfaces. The understated tertiary palette is punctuated by the bright areas of orange, blue, red and pink and the overall impression is one of great modernity and harmony.