Portrait of Josette Gris (1916) by Juan Gris

Portrait of Josette Gris - Juan Gris - 1916

Artwork Information

TitlePortrait of Josette Gris
ArtistJuan Gris
MediumOil on Canvas
Dimensions116.5 x 73 cm
Art MovementCubism
Current LocationMuseo del Prado, Madrid

About Portrait of Josette Gris

The artwork titled “Portrait of Josette Gris” by artist Juan Gris, created in the year 1916, is an oil on canvas painting adhering to the Cubist art movement. Its dimensions are 116.5 by 73 cm, and it falls under the genre of portraiture. This distinguished work is housed in the Museo del Prado, located in Madrid.

Observing the artwork, one is confronted with the distinctive qualities of Cubism, a movement characterized by the fragmentation and abstraction of forms. The representation of Josette, the artist’s wife, demonstrates a complex interplay of geometric shapes and interlocking planes. The use of muted and monochromatic tones conveys a somber palette, typical for Gris’ works, which contributes to the sense of structure and harmony within the composition.

The portrait distinguishes itself through the reconstruction of the human form into a series of flat shapes that coalesce into a recognizable but stylized visage. As the subject’s features are dissected by angular lines, the eyes, nose, and other elements become part of a unified whole that challenges conventional depictions of perspective and depth. Deliberate shifts in shading and the gradations of light and dark serve to accentuate the three-dimensional effect, a hallmark of Cubist technique.

Juan Gris brings forth an analytical balance to the piece, where mathematical rigor meets artistic expression. In this portrait, one observes the epitome of Gris’s distinct contribution to Cubism—the refined synthesis of color planes and structured composition that bridges the gap between abstraction and reality.

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