Musical Instruments (1908) by Georges Braque

Musical Instruments - Georges Braque - 1908

Artwork Information

TitleMusical Instruments
ArtistGeorges Braque
MediumOil on Canvas
Dimensions50 x 61 cm
Art MovementCubism
Current LocationKunstmuseum Basel, Basel, Switzerland
Location Created France

About Musical Instruments

The artwork titled “Musical Instruments” created by Georges Braque in 1908 is a quintessential example of the Cubist movement. This oil on canvas piece measures 50 by 61 centimeters and is classified as a still life. Currently, it is housed at the Kunstmuseum Basel in Basel, Switzerland. Braque, a pioneering figure of Cubism, created this artwork in France, demonstrating the characteristic fragmented and geometric forms for which the movement is renowned.

Upon examining the artwork, one is immediately drawn to the interplay of shapes and the subdued yet harmonious color palette. The painting portrays musical instruments, most notably a guitar at the center, intersected by a piece of sheet music and seemingly a second instrument, suggested by a keyboard and bellows, which could imply an accordion. The pictorial space is fractured into various planes and angles, obscuring the distinction between two and three dimensions and creating a dynamic sense of depth. The neutral tones of browns, ochres, and greens imbue the composition with a muted and contemplative atmosphere, while the bold outlines and shifting perspectives emphasize the structural essence of the objects rather than their realistic depiction.

Braque’s approach to form and space in “Musical Instruments” exemplifies the revolutionary ambitions of the Cubist movement to portray the multiplicities of vision and to redefine the nature of representation in art.

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