Created in 1913, ‘Violin and ink bottle on a table’ is an artwork by Spanish painter and sculptor Juan Gris. It belongs to the Synthetic Cubism style, with Gris being one of the four major figures of Cubism, alongside Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque and Fernand Léger. In fact, Gris lived and worked in France for most of his life, his works being closely connected to the emergence of this new artistic genre.
Taking a closer look at ‘Violin and ink bottle on a table’ we can appreciate elements such as flattened planes and geometric forms that characterise Cubism. Furthermore, we can witness how Juan Gris experimented with volume, subject and perspective – something he also did in his work ‘Three Lamps’, which was created between 1910-1911. This painting shows us several lamps suspended against an opaque background – one horizontal while two are vertical – again demonstrating how Cubism challenged notions of depth field.
Overall, the artwork made by Juan Gris stands out due to its combinations of chaotic cubist structure combined with vibrant colors. Through this work we can see how he was able to synthesize different elements in order to create meaning and emotion within his paintings.