Lot 5
  • 5

GEORGES BRAQUE | Marguerites sur une caisse

1,000,000 - 1,500,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Georges Braque
  • Marguerites sur une caisse
  • signed G Braque (lower right)
  • oil on canvas
  • 81.3 by 60cm.
  • 32 by 23 5/8 in.
  • Painted in 1946.


Mrs Leo Glass, New York (sold: Sotheby's, London, 1st July 1964, lot 5)
Private Collection (purchased at the above sale)

Thence by descent to the present owner


Paris, Galerie Maeght, Braque, 1947, no. 13

New York, M. Knoedler & Co., Inc., Georges Braque. An American Tribute. The Late Years (1940-63) and The Sculpture, 1964, no. 16, illustrated in the catalogue (titled Vase of Daisies) Jerusalem, The Israel Museum, 1972, no. 11


Cahiers d'Art, Pris, 1947, illustrated p. 32 (titled Le pot de fleurs)
Jean Grenier, Braque. Peintures 1909-1947, Paris, 1948, illustrated in colour pl. XII

John Russell, G. Braque, London, 1959, illustrated pl. 64 (titled Still Life)

Galerie Maeght (ed.), Catalogue de l'œuvre de Georges Braque. Peintures 1942-1947, Paris, 1960, no. 107, illustrated; illustrated in colour facing no. 112

Stanislas Fumet, Georges Braque, Paris, 1965, illustrated in colour p. 203 (with incorrect measurements)

Raymond Cogniat, Braque, New York, 1970, illustrated in colour (with incorrect measurements)

Catalogue Note

‘The still life is a tactile, even manual space in contrast to the space of the landscape, which is a visual space’ Georges Braque

The subject of the still-life was central to Braque’s artistic vision and appears throughout his œuvre in many guises, from his early Cubist paintings to the large-scale oils of the 1940s and 1950s. Painted in 1946, Marguerites sur une caisse is a striking example of the artist’s mature style; vividly coloured in greens and yellows, with highlights of ochre and orange among the flowers, it illustrates Braque’s continued use of the still-life motif as means of exploring ‘tactile’ space.

This innovative approach to spatial relations in Braque’s late work evidently has its origins in his earlier Cubist paintings, while at the same time drawing inspiration from the formal experiments with the still-life genre that had been pioneered by Cézanne and Van Gogh. A reproduction of one of Van Gogh’s sunflower paintings hung in Braque’s Paris studio and he owned an unfinished Cézanne still-life of flowers. The influence of both is apparent in Marguerites sur une caisse in which the vase of daisies is set on a box or pedestal against a stylised, almost abstracted background. Conventional perspective is denied, and the pedestal and richly coloured blue cloth beneath the vase are both angled towards the viewer, extending forward out of the picture plane to provide a tangible sense of the object in space.

Much like Cézanne, Braque painted objects that were familiar to him, using the same motifs time and again; the different elements of his composition would be gathered together from his immediate surroundings – contemporaries who visited his studio often commented on the abundance of wild flowers arranged in jugs and vases – and it is this transformation from real-world object to painted subject that is central to understanding Braque’s handling of the still-life genre. As Isabelle Monod-Fontaine writes: ‘all these objects really belonged to Braque, they correspond to the tactile or manual space to which he often referred. Caressed by his hand (which has held the vase, played the guitar, poured the water from the jug) and by his visionary imagination, they are the points of contact between the artist’s interior world and the space in which he worked. In this case, the object is not an obstacle to thought; rather on the contrary it provokes it, transforming itself into an integral part of the act of thought-painting which is at the heart of Braque’s work. In the widest sense of the word, it becomes an object of meditation’ (I. Monod-Fontaine, ‘Las Naturalezas Muertas de Georges Braque’, in Braque (exhibition catalogue), Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid, 2002, p. 26, translated from Spanish).