Levels of humor and metaphor surround this first foray into word-inclusion. Louis Vauxcelles, a critic who worked for Gil Blas had become one of the most outspoken voices against the new art, with much of his distain focused directly on Braque. In March of 1908 he stated “In the presence of Mr. Braque, I am positively losing my foothold. This is savage, resolutely, aggressively unintelligible art” (reproduced in Picasso and Braque, Pioneering Cubism, Op. cit., p. 351). Alvin Martin delves into Braque’s decision to include the newspaper in Le Pyrogène et le quotidian Gil Blas: “Braque painted the letters GIL B onto forms representing a folded newspaper…. Behind this paper appears his pipe… a personal artifact which had become his attribute… Above the pipe is an object that appear to be a candle or match holder…. Braque’s choice of title and his subject matter again create a multi-leveled meaning. A pyrogène is something that starts a fire or which, by extension, is inflammatory. The subject matter of Braque’s painting…comprise objects which both ignite and inflame. They are painted in the cubist style which was inflammatory in both the eyes of the public and critical taste, particularly to the critic of Gil Blas. Metaphorically, the picture remarks on the inflamed relationship between the artist represented by his pipe and the critic symbolized by his paper” (Braque, The Papiers Collés, Op. cit., p. 69)
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