Georges Braque very much focussed upon the Cubist form of painting during his later years, preferring still life images and inanimate objects.
Bottle and Fishes is one such painting. This painting is of a very simplistic design, in that the observer sees bottles and fishes that have been arranged onto a plate, that sits on a table.
These items are ordinary, every day items, that he transforms into the extraordinary.
The items in Bottle and Fishes are made to appear so unlike their usual form. It is as though the observer is looking at them through a prism, as they are distorted and fragmented.
The imagery that we observe is blunt, yet beautiful in its arrangement. The muted colours work well with the heavily painted shapes and the overall feeling is that of contemplation.
What is interesting is that Georges Braque used the subjects of fish and bottles in many of his paintings throughout his career. Although the objects remained the same, the style in winch he painted them changed, as he experimented with colours, textures and ways of depicting them on canvas.
Bottle and Fishes is very much a Cubist painting, and reflects his influences in having worked with the great Picasso. The earthy tones, fragmented objects and the use of a horizontal plane all scream Cubism.
However, what is interesting is that Braque distanced himself from Picasso, stating that unlike his mentor, his paintings had no social commentary attached to them, nor any great psychological meaning.
Rather, his paintings were merely of a visual joy, intended for the observer to wonder at the use of composition, colour, textile, choice and use of space. What we find in the painting, Bottle and Fishes, is symmetry, harmony and the comfort of observing every day objects.