Fantomas (Pipe and Newspaper) is a still life painting created by Juan Gris in 1915. Gris was a significant figure in the Cubist movement, and this painting is considered an example of Synthetic Cubism. The artwork depicts a pipe and a newspaper, both positioned on a table with false wood-graining. The painting’s glimpsed letters reveal the word “UM” for rum and “JOUR” for journal, confirming the positions of the objects.
The painting measures 59.8 x 73.3 cm and is currently located at the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC. Gris brightened and clarified the Cubist style with this painting, and it is recognized as one of his most successful pieces. He was born in Madrid in 1887 and died young in 1927 in Boulogne-sur-Seine, France. Gris is famous for being one of the four major figures in Cubism, along with Picasso, Braque, and Léger.
Affordable reproductions of the painting are available for purchase, and it has been auctioned and sold for a significant amount of money in the past. The painting’s synthetic style and the way it plays with space and form make it an outstanding example of Cubist still life painting. Gris’s use of color and the deliberate breaking down of objects into their constituent parts make the painting a unique masterpiece in the history of art.