The objects in Glass on a Table are not represented as if seen from a single static viewpoint. They are seen simultaneously from different angles. They are fragmented into a series of facets, which reflect the darting movements of the eye.
The composition is held together by vigorous brush strokes, which contribute a sense of energy and excitement to the piece.
Braque came from a working class background in Le Havre, starting life as a painter, decorator and receiving no formal training as an artist. In 1900, he moved to Paris where he was influenced by the work of Henri Matisse and Andre Derain.
In 1907, he saw an exhibition of Cezanne and met Picasso. These two events affected him profoundly and led him towards the development of Cubism.
In the summer of 1908, he painted a series of landscapes, in which the colour was simplified and perspective reduced to a limited number of geometric forms. This stylistic development came because he was pursuing the possibility of painting the spaces between forms rather than the forms themselves.
In 1909, he worked with Picasso, developing the theories of Analytical Cubism. He turned away from landscape to still life. He felt this form offered him the possibility of enabling the viewer to touch objects on the canvas as well as see them.
The objects in Glass on a Table are simplified. They are placed on one plane. They are broken down into hard, shining, facets, which suggest a simultaneous view from different standpoints.
The spaces between them are deconstructed into vibrant, abstract, geometric shapes. The work challenges and investigates the act of seeing.
Georges Braque is a key figure in Cubism and one of the great abstract painters of the 20th century.
He is chiefly remembered for his still life (nature morte) of which Glass on a Table is an early and superb example.