Harlequin at Table (1918) by Juan Gris

Harlequin at Table - Juan Gris - 1918

Artwork Information

TitleHarlequin at Table
ArtistJuan Gris
Art MovementSynthetic Cubism
Current LocationPrivate Collection

About Harlequin at Table

“Harlequin at Table” is an artwork created by the artist Juan Gris in the year 1918. This piece is a significant representation of the Synthetic Cubism movement. The painting is a portrait, and as of my last update, it resides within a private collection.

The artwork exhibits the distinct characteristics of Synthetic Cubism, characterized by the use of simple shapes and interlocking planes. Unlike Analytic Cubism, which fragmented objects into complex patterns of facets and planes, Synthetic Cubism aimed at bringing different elements together to create a synthesized whole. The palette appears to be restrained, with a dominance of monochromatic tones that emphasise the interplay of light and shadow, rather than vibrant color.

In “Harlequin at Table,” the subject matter—a figure traditionally associated with the Italian Commedia dell’arte—is presented in a reductive and abstracted form. The harlequin is discernible through the fragmented geometric shapes and the suggestion of the distinctive checkered pattern. The figure’s form is broken into several planes, and while there appears to be a suggestion of depth, the flattened space is typical of the cubist aesthetic. The artist has played with the illusion of three-dimensional space on a two-dimensional surface, with the table and other objects adding to the complexity of the composition.

One can observe the meticulous precision with which the artist arranged the various elements, creating a sense of order and structure amidst the potential visual confusion. Overall, the artwork stands as a meditative and cerebral exploration of form, pattern, and the cubist representation of space and dimensionality, done with the careful geometric stylization that Juan Gris has become celebrated for.

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