Carafe and Book (1920) by Juan Gris

Carafe and Book - Juan Gris - 1920

Artwork Information

TitleCarafe and Book
ArtistJuan Gris
Dimensions81.3 x 54 cm
Art MovementCubism
Current LocationMuseo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía (MNCARS), Madrid, Spain

About Carafe and Book

The artwork “Carafe and Book” was created by the artist Juan Gris in 1920. It is an oil painting on canvas and is an example of a still life genre within the Cubist movement. The dimensions of the canvas are 81.3 x 54 cm. This artwork is part of the collection at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía (MNCARS) in Madrid, Spain.

In the painting, the viewer is presented with a composition that exemplifies Cubism’s characteristic fragmentation of form and multiplicity of viewpoints. The carafe, book, and other elements are broken down into geometric shapes and planes, which overlap and intersect in a manner that flattens space and challenges conventional perspectives. The palette is subdued, featuring a range of ochres, blacks, and grays, punctuated by the contrasting textures and contours. Despite the abstract nature of the composition, one can discern the titular objects—a carafe and a book—through the interplay of forms. The arrangement of these objects suggests a domestic scene, yet the treatment is highly stylized, giving the painting a sense of structured harmony that conveys the cerebral engagement typical of Cubist works. The subtle balance between the representation of reality and its artistic deconstruction is a hallmark of Juan Gris’s approach to Cubism, as evidenced in the artwork.

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