georges braque’s the portuguese where was it painted
While working on this painting, Georges Braque combined the two techniques to come up with the Portuguese. The stencilled numbers and letters in the art are the assertions of realistic intentions of the Cubism technique. In the painting, the stencilled or written letters across the surface represent the most conclusive ways of emphasizing the picture’s two-dimensional character and they also help stress the quality of the artwork. The Portuguese painting marks an interesting stage and point in the development of Georges’ arts. At the top right-hand corner of the painting, there are D BAL letters and numerals under them. Although Georges had included various numbers as well as letters into the painting, they were the representational elements of the art.
The painting is one of the earliest cubist paintings. While it is frequently mentioned in monographs, textbooks and articles on the artist as well as Cubism, this painting has never been a source of serious controversy. Most of his paintings consist of still lives which are remarkable for their low-key colour harmonies, robust construction, and serene, meditative quality. Cubism is the technique that was used in the creation of the Portuguese painting. Georges Braque introduced this technique of painting in 1911. The painting features stencilled letters BAL and numerals under them. The painter first introduced the still life technique in 1910 before introducing the Cubism style.
To understand Cubism it helps to go back to Cézanne’s still life paintings or even further, to the Renaissance. Let me use an example that worked nicely in the classroom. I was lecturing, trying to untangle Cubism while drinking incresingly cold coffee from a paper cup. I set the cup on the desk in the front of the room and said, “If I were a Renaissance artist in mid-15th century Italy painting that cup on that table, I would position myself at particular point in space and construct the surrounding objects and space frozen in that spot and from that single perspective. On the other hand, if this was the late 19th century and I was Cézanne, I might allow myself to open this view up quite a bit. Perhaps I would focus on, and record, the perceptual changes of shape and line that result when I shift my weight from one leg to the other or when I lean in toward the cup to get a closer look. I might even allow myself to render slightly around the far side of the paper cup since, as Cézanne, I am interested in vision and memory working together. Finally, if I were Braque or Picasso in the early 20th century, I would want to express even more on the canvas. I would not be satisfied with the limiting conventions of Renaissance perspective nor even with the initial explorations of the master Cézanne.
As a Cubist, I want to express my total visual understanding of the paper coffee cup. I want more than the Renaissance painter or even Cézanne, I want to express the entire cup simultaneously on the static surface of the canvas since I can hold all that visual information in my memory. I want to render the cup’s front, its sides, its back, and its inner walls, its bottom from both inside and out, and I want to do this on a flat canvas. How can this be done? The answer is provided by The Portuguese. In this canvas, everything was fractured. The guitar player and the dock was just so many pieces of broken form, almost broken glass. By breaking these objects into smaller elements, Braque and Picasso are able to overcome the unified singularity of an object and instead transform it into an object of vision. At this point the class began to look a little confused, so I turned back to the paper cup and began to tear it into pieces (I had finished the coffee). If I want to be able to show you both the back and front and inside and outside simultaneously, I can fragment the object. Basically, this is the strategy of the Cubists. – from smarthistory
As a Cubist, I want to express my total visual understanding of the paper coffee cup. I want more than the Renaissance painter or even Cézanne, I want to express the entire cup simultaneously on the static surface of the canvas since I can hold all that visual information in my memory. I want to render the cup’s front, its sides, its back, and its inner walls, its bottom from both inside and out, and I want to do this on a flat canvas. How can this be done?
Georges Braque, The Portuguese, 1911, oil on canvas, 116.8 x 81 cm (Kunstmuseum Basel, Basel, Switzerland)
By 1911, Braque and Picasso paired up and the analytical phase became full blown. “Man and Guitar” is an example of this phase. It is characterized by the natural colors of brown, gray, and green (Braque). It seems to have many views, the space is flattened, and it has a kind of broken contour. Braque began to use the stenciling technique to create a feeling of autonomy as such in “The Portuguese” lettering. He also created what is exclaimed the first pasted-paper picture by using wallpaper in “Fruit Dish and Glass.”
As Braque moved along in the Cubist movement, he kept an art studio in Montmartre, but he also rotated in going many other places for experience. After marrying in 1912 to Marcelle Lapre, Braque resided near Avignon (Braque). He decided to join the army as a sergeant once World War I began and was commended for his bravery. Braque suffered from a severe head injury in 1915 and spent a while in hospitals and institutions. In his stay, Braque recorded broken ideas and sayings that were ultimately collected by Braque’s friend and poet Pierre Reverdy and published as “Thoughts and Reflections on Painting.”
Braque was born into a working class family and spent his childhood in Le Havre before starting work as a painter and decorator, a trade that both his father and grandfather had followed. He received no formal training as an artist, being wholly self-taught, but his apprenticeship is evident in his knowledge of materials and in the workmanlike and deliberately matter-of-fact approach of the paintings of his Cubist period and later. In 1900 he moved to Paris where, in the winter of 1905-6, he became a follower of Fauvism. He later admitted that it was Henri Matisse (1869-1954) and Andre Derain (1880-1954) who had opened up new paths in painting for him. In 1906, after producing several expressionist paintings, he stayed in Antwerp with the fellow Fauvist Othon Friesz, and in the summer of 1907 he went south to La Ciotat and L’Estaque where he painted a series of small seascapes in an elegant Fauvist style (La Ciotat, 1907, Musee National d’Art Moderne, Paris).
Braque was mobilized into the army in 1914 and, after being seriously wounded the following year, did not resume work until 1917. During the late-war and interwar period he was represented by Leonce Rosenberg (1879-1947) and later his brother Paul Rosenberg (1881-1959)