Breakfast is a Synthetic Cubism artwork completed by Juan Gris in 1914 that portrays a still life of objects placed along two distinct axes. Gris, a Spanish painter who lived in France, developed a personal Cubist style using bright harmonious colors that are apparent in the artwork. The painting is a mixed media artwork that features cut-and-pasted printed wallpaper, newspaper, transparentized paper, white laid paper, gouache, oil, and wax crayon on canvas. The paper fragments used in the painting stretched to the edge of the canvas, emphasizing both the pictorial and the literal qualities of the materials.
Most of the objects in Breakfast are depicted from above and are placed along one vertical and one diagonal axis. The painting’s original French title is Le Petit déjeuner, which translates to “the little breakfast.” Juan Gris produced several still life paintings of breakfast tables, which featured objects such as a coffee pot, a milk jug, and a newspaper. The artwork is currently located at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City and is considered one of the iconic pieces of Synthetic Cubism.
Breakfast is a notable example of the Synthetic Cubism style that was started by Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso, and later expanded upon by Gris. The mixed media artwork showcases Gris’s innovative use of different materials and his unique approach to still life paintings. With its bright colors and distinct axes, Breakfast is a captivating artwork that continues to inspire artists and art enthusiasts alike.