Guitar by the sea

In this room, we suggest that you hunt for the work “Guitar by the Sea”, by Juan Gris.

This small canvas shows a window open onto the sea, where a simple white triangle represents a sailing boat. It was painted in 1925, two years before the artist’s death.

The ouevre of José Victoriano González, which was Juan Gris’s real name, is a fine example of what is known as Synthetic Cubism, in which real objects began to be incorporated into the picture.

This picture, Guitar by the Sea, is rather hard to classify. It uses a wider range of colours than was usual in the early Cubist works of Braque and Picasso. The items are seen as a confused mixture and from different angles, each one two-dimensional and viewed from the front. A folded newspaper and an ace of diamonds are recognizable, next to an envelope and the opened letter. The guitar from which the picture takes its name and which is an item that appears in many of Gris’s works, is outlined in black and white, at the back, against the open window looking onto the sea.

Juan Gris was born in the very heart of Madrid, and he trained with the famous Spanish painter Moreno Carbonero. In France he developed his own successful branch of Picasso’s Cubism. But it came to an end at its peak, when the artist died just after turning forty.

(c) (R) 2012, MUSMon com S.L.