Lot 39
  • 39

Juan Gris

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


  • Juan Gris
  • Journal et compotier
  • Signed Juan Gris and indistinctly dated 10-1917 (lower left)
  • Oil on cradled panel
  • 10 5/8 by 13 3/4 in.
  • 27 by 35 cm


Galerie de l'Effort Moderne (Léonce Rosenberg), Paris

Dr. John Joseph Wardell Power, Brussels (acquired before 1943 and sold by the Estate: Sotheby’s, London, November 7, 1962, lot 19)

Galerie Louise Leiris, Paris (acquired at the above sale)

Saidenberg Gallery, New York

Private Collection, United States (acquired from the above)

Thence by descent


Juan Antonio Gaya-Nuño, Juan Gris, Barcelona & Paris, 1974, illustrated p. 108 (titled Journal, verre et poire)

Douglas Cooper & Margaret Potter, Juan Gris, Catalogue raisonné de l’oeuvre peint, Paris, 1977, vol. I, no. 234, illustrated p. 345

Douglas Cooper & Margaret Potter, Juan Gris, Catalogue raisonné de l'oeuvre peint, San Francisco, 2014, vol. I, no. 234, illustrated p. 399

Catalogue Note

Juan Gris's still-life from 1917, Journal et compotier, captures the exuberance of the artist's Synthetic cubist style. Following the muted tones and geometric weight of early cubism, Gris along with Picasso and Braque re-introduced color as a dominant factor in his still-life compositions. Gris was undoubtedly a master of Synthetic cubism and his strongest works were executed in the years just before and throughout World War I. With brilliant tones of white and green, Journal et compotier is a rare example of his unique continuation of the Cubist idiom. Gris presents an art historical trope of tilted table-top with glass and newspaper but the objects and their surrounding space are fragmented into illogical planes. Though he brings his representation to the brink of abstraction, he allows the viewer just the right amount of clues necessary to reconstruct the subject. Gris painted several still-lifes on panel along these lines in 1917, including La Chaise now at the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris. Over the course of the 1910s, several artists would attempt to adopt the perspectival and compositional devices that the Cubist founders Braque and Picasso had started using at the end of the first decade, but few would be as highly regarded for their talent and vision as Gris. Recalling this period and her association with the Cubists, Gertrude Stein identified Gris as an artist of foremost importance among these cultural figures: "The only real Cubism is that of Picasso and Juan Gris. Picasso created it and Juan Gris permeated it with his clarity and exaltation" (G. Stein, The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, New York, 1933, p. 111). Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler, who had been Gris’ dealer until his enforced exile from France at the outset of the war, furthermore provided the following analysis of Gris' particular Cubist style:  "... [T]he emblems which Juan Gris invented 'signified' the whole of the object which he meant to represent. All the details are not present. The emblems are not comprehensible without previous visual experiences. . . The picture contains not the forms which have been collected in the visual memory of the painter, but new forms, forms which differ from those of the 'real' objects we meet within the visible world, forms which are truly emblems and which only become objects in the perception of the spectator" (D. H. Kahnweiler, Juan Gris: His Life and Work, London, 1947, p. 90).