Still Life Mandolin II (c.1939; France) by Georges Braque

Still Life Mandolin II - Georges Braque - c.1939; France

Artwork Information

TitleStill Life Mandolin II
ArtistGeorges Braque
Datec.1939; France
Dimensions20 x 36 cm
Art MovementCubism,Expressionism
Current LocationPrivate Collection

About Still Life Mandolin II

“Still Life Mandolin II” is a work of art by Georges Braque, created around 1939 in France. As an oil on canvas, the artwork falls within the genres of Cubism and Expressionism, dimensions measuring 20 x 36 cm. This still life is part of a private collection. The genre of the artwork is reflective of Braque’s interest in the still life composition, a recurring subject in his oeuvre.

In the artwork, there is a distinct play between form, color, and perspective. The mandolin, which commands central attention, is depicted with a softened palette that conveys its rounded form and the tactile nature of its wooden body. The strings and fretboard are fragmented in a manner typical of Cubist depictions, breaking the object into both geometric and more organic shapes. Around the mandolin, one can make out objects that seem to float in a somewhat ambiguous space, including what appears to be a glass, a bottle, and perhaps a piece of fruit.

The background is richly patterned, with elements that suggest decorative motifs. These motifs might be reference to wallpaper or tapestry, serving both as a backdrop and as a means to integrate the subjects into a single, harmonized composition. The colors are bold, with red dominating the scene, interspersed with greens, blues, and earthy tones. Through these elements, Braque creates a rhythm within the painting that is both dynamic and meditative.

The use of contrast and abstracted form allows for an interpretation that goes beyond the literal representation of objects, inviting viewers to ponder the relationship between the items, and the space they inhabit. Braque’s work in this piece exemplifies the Cubist endeavor of representing the world by reassembling it through geometric shapes and interlocking planes, providing multiple viewpoints simultaneously.

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