The Reader (1926) by Juan Gris

The Reader - Juan Gris - 1926

Artwork Information

TitleThe Reader
ArtistJuan Gris
Dimensions80.6 x 65 cm
Art MovementCubism
Current LocationPrivate Collection

About The Reader

“The Reader,” an artwork by Juan Gris dated to 1926, is a portrait executed in oil on canvas. This piece is an embodiment of the Cubist art movement, with dimensions measuring 80.6 by 65 centimeters, and it currently resides within a private collection.

The artwork portrays a figure holding an open book, engaging in the act of reading. The formal presentation includes a distinct Cubist style, characterized by the fragmentation and geometric reconfiguration of forms, which is particularly evident in the rendering of the book and the background. The background consists of abstract shapes and forms that suggest an interior space, possibly hinting at a domestic setting, where the reader is immersed in her literary world.

The color palette is somewhat subdued with an emphasis on earthy tones, and features a contrast between the warm hues of the background and the cooler tones of the figure and the book. Juan Gris’s signature can be found in the lower left corner, alongside the date of the artwork’s completion. The facial features of the subject and the figure’s attire are rendered with a sense of volume and solidity despite the overall abstract treatment consistent with Cubist aesthetics. The demure posture and the focused expression on the subject’s face convey a serene engagement with the text, further emphasizing the introspective nature of the scene depicted in “The Reader.”

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