Still Life with Fruit Dish and Mandolin (1919) by Juan Gris

Still Life with Fruit Dish and Mandolin - Juan Gris - 1919

Artwork Information

TitleStill Life with Fruit Dish and Mandolin
ArtistJuan Gris
MediumOil on Canvas
Dimensions92 x 65 cm
Art MovementSynthetic Cubism
Current LocationBeyeler Foundation, Riehen, Switzerland

About Still Life with Fruit Dish and Mandolin

The artwork titled “Still Life with Fruit Dish and Mandolin” was created by the artist Juan Gris in the year 1919. It is an oil on canvas painting measuring 92 by 65 centimeters. Gris, a significant figure in the Synthetic Cubism movement, presents a still life genre painting. Currently, this artwork is housed at the Beyeler Foundation in Riehen, Switzerland.

In the artwork, Gris exemplifies the principles of Synthetic Cubism, where instead of deconstructing objects into fragmented forms, he builds them up in a collage-like manner using shapes that suggest parts of the objects. The composition features geometric forms that evoke elements commonly found in still life, such as a fruit dish, a mandolin, a glass, and what appears to be paper with musical notations or writing. The color palette is fairly muted, with blues, greens, and earth tones dominating the canvas, punctuated by splashes of lighter colors that guide the viewer’s eye across the composition.

The spatial arrangement in the painting is complex and multi-dimensional; different planes and surfaces intersect and overlap, creating a sense of depth and volume despite the inherent flatness of the canvas. The simultaneity of multiple perspectives, a hallmark of Cubism, is evident as objects are seen from different angles at once, challenging traditional notions of space and perspective.

Contained within the carefully balanced arrangement of shapes and colors is a harmonious rhythm that perhaps alludes to the music associated with the mandolin. This blending of visual and conceptual elements makes “Still Life with Fruit Dish and Mandolin” a masterful example of the Synthetic Cubist style and a testament to Juan Gris’s contribution to early 20th-century art.

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