This painting from Georges Gris is dated at around 1925 and is owned by the Centre Pompidou, Musée national d'art moderne, Paris, who purchased it directly from the artist back in 1947. Their own collection is an impressive one and focuses on artists from the 20th century. You will also find the likes of Constantin Brancusi, Vassily Kandinsky, Robert Delaunay and Frida Kahlo featured here and it remains one of the finest art galleries within the city, which is quite a claim considering the amount of competition that there is to offer in the old romantic metropolis. In all, one could easily spend a whole week in this city and visit a new gallery every day, without fear of running out of things to see and Paris continues to compete well with the likes of London, Madrid and New York in offering exceptional permanent art collections to the general public.
This painting captures a banquet thrown in honour of Braque upon his return from service in wartime. It was therefore a commemorative piece, as was produced several years later. We find a selection of beautiful foods which may have been difficult to source at the time and would certainly have been greatily appreciated by all. There are the apples and pears that Cezanne so often used within his own still life paintings, some sat on a table, whilst more fruit can be found in a bowl perched above. The colour scheme is dark but varied and at this stage in his career there was still a little divergence between the cubist approach used by Braque as against the two other main figureheads, Picasso and Gris.
Points of interest in this artwork include the way in which the artist captures the surfaces of marble and wood, with the content otherwise fairly consistent with the rest of his still life work. Cubism involved the flattening of perspective in most cases and here we find the angle of the table in an unrealistic pose, though this actually allows us to see more of what is placed upon it. Cubism allowed its exponents to work freely, outside of many of the restictions of reality, a little similar to how Dali would take items from real life and then put them in arrangements which were closer to his dreamworld, such as with The Persistence of Memory. Modern art more generally was about breaking away from the shackles of the past and encouraging freedom and expression.