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Artist: Gris, Juan 1 of 1

Still Life with a Poem, 1915

Juan Gris

Spanish, 1887-1927
Oil on canvas
31-3/4 x 25-1/2 in. (80.6 x 64.8 cm)
Norton Simon Art Foundation
© Norton Simon Art Foundation

On view

In 1906 Juan Gris moved to Paris and entered the circle of Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque, from whom he learned the principles of Cubism. He particularly excelled in the use of bold color and in the technique of collage. This composition is a masterfully painted illusion of the textures of wood and cloth. Gris translated symbolist poems and was a close friend of contemporary poets. At the bottom of the painting he has rendered a poem by Pierre Reverdy, which reads:

Would she behave herself better under your arm or on the table?

The bottle’s neck protrudes from a pocket and money in your hand, less long than the sleeve.

They had inflated the glass tube and breathed in the air.

When the one they were expecting came into the room, the first bystanders sat down to table...and the flame that shines in their eyes, from whence does it come?

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Artist: Gris, Juan 1 of 1