Lot 9
  • 9

Georges Braque

150,000 - 250,000 USD
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  • Georges Braque
  • Guéridon jaune, avec clarinette, partition et guitare
  • Signed with initials G.B. (lower left)
  • Gouache and pencil on gessoed board
  • 6 1/2 by 10 in.
  • 16.5 by 25.4 cm


Sam Salz, New York

Mary & Leigh B. Block, Chicago (acquired from the above in the 1950s)

Private Collection, New York

Galerie Kornfeld, Bern, June 25, 1993, lot 16

John & Paul Herring, New York

Acquired from the above


Washington D.C., National Gallery of Art & Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 100 European Paintings and Drawings from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Leigh B. Block, 1967, no. 96, illustrated in the catalogue (dated 1918 and with gouache as the only medium)

New York, The Pierpont Morgan Library, New York Collects: Drawings and Watercolors, 1900-1950, 1999, no. 26, illustrated in color in the catalogue (dated 1921)

Catalogue Note

In 1915 Braque was severely wounded at the front by an exploding shell. After a long recovery, he returned in 1917 to his old studio at the Hôtel Roma in Paris. His association with Picasso had ended and he now began to paint in his earlier synthetic Cubist idiom but with bolder, looser, more colorful and tactile forms. He again concentrated on still life subjects, but portrayed the objects more clearly than before to correspond with their natural appearances. The objects in this gouache are the familiar guitar, oboe, grapes and musical sheet assembled on a small table and executed in shades of browns, oranges, greens and blue with a faux marbled plane in the background reminiscent of the artist's use of faux bois effects in his earlier cubist collage works. 

Instruments and sheet music first appeared in Braque’s works during his pivotal early Cubist years. Words and text were first included in Braque's work in 1909 and would, throughout these groundbreaking years, take the form of a newspaper titles, wine labels or musical associations. His usage of text would recur in still lifes and interiors throughout the following decades. Here the word Solo is prominently featured in the center of the composition, with sheet music, instruments and grapes filling the still life table-top. Braque himself was musical, classically trained in the violin, flute and even the accordion. “He is reported to have been a good musician, a singer with a pleasant voice, and an accomplished, enthusiastic dancer…. Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler, remembered that he boasted of being able to ‘play Beethoven symphonies on the accordion” (K. Wilkin, Georges Braque, New York, 1991, p. 8). Several of his close friends, including Erik Satie and Georges Auricwere prominent composers; Claude Debussy, whose sheet music is visible in Le Duo, now at the Centre Georges Pompidou, was a great admirer of Braque and his work while Braque.

The present work is related to a partnership between Braque and Satie centered around music and visual perception: "This still life [the present work] is associated with Braque's collaboration with Erik Satie on the published score of the composer's La Piège de Méduse (1921), which included several related woodcut illustration by the artist.... another gouache in the shape of an oval and done on board... shows the same group of objects as in the present drawing in roughly the same still-life arrangement. Although that oval composition has been tentatively dated 1925 because of a later inscription on the drawing, both still lifes were most likely done at the time of Braque's collaboration with Satie in 1921" (New York Collects, Op. cit., p. 82). Braque and Satie both hailed from Normandy. Originally introduced by Pablo Picasso and Sergei Diaghilev, they shared a close relationship and, outside of their 1921 collaboration, Satie's musical scores found their way into Braque's paintings for years afterwards.