Pablo PICASSO, Cubist study (still life with bottle) Enlarge 1 /1


Spain 1881 – France 1973

Cubist study (still life with bottle) 1912 Creation Notes: Although dated 1910 next to the signature, Zervos places these and related drawings two years later in 1912 on the basis on stylistic characteristics. Inconsistencies with the dating of other works are not uncommon due to Picasso's habit of dating works well after completion.
Materials & Technique: drawings, pen and ink, brush and ink pen, ink Support: paper

Primary Insc: signed and dated in pen and ink l.r. "P(illeg) 10"
Dimensions: sheet 18.5 h x 13.2 w cm
Acknowledgement: Purchased 1981
Accession No: NGA 81.737
Image rights: © Pablo Picasso/Succession Picasso. Licensed by Viscopy

Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque worked together from 1907, exploring a style that came to be known as Cubism. The term was initially used negatively by critics in response to the artists’ work, which was characterised by the depiction of objects from multiple viewpoints. In this way, Cubist artists aimed to show a three-dimensional object on a two-dimensional surface without using one-point perspective.

The first stage of Cubism, known as Analytic Cubism, was developed by Picasso and Braque in 1910–12. In its early stages the style concentrated on images of women, still lifes and musical instruments. Later, the artists focused on the world of the Paris cafés.

In Cubist study (Still life with bottle) Picasso shows different views of a bottle and a table, executed in a feathery manner in multiple strokes of the pen and brush. To give the drawing the feeling of an everyday café, Picasso added words to the composition that make reference to a family company, and in this way to the outside world. He also often used words that related to wine, the name of a café, cigarettes or newspapers.

Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 2010
From: Ron Radford (ed), Collection highlights: National Gallery of Australia, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, 2008