At the beginning of 1916 the objects painted by Gris take on a greater presence, become immanent, and the surface becomes exuberant and pointillist. The pointillist paintings inspired by Reverdy have the same lightness and sensuality of his earlier work A Pot of Geraniums (1915), but now they are formed through a system of superimposed planes that Gris developed in the second half of 1915.

In contrast to his contemporary works, Gris eliminates the three-dimensional touches in favour of a constant affirmation of the plane. Even the dark shadows visible in the background appear to be enclosed in the surface and the planes often fold over themselves. In short, the pictures are practically abstract.

Most of the works from this period reveal a preoccupation with the subject of light. Light can be perceived either through a window, as it radiantly illuminates a still life, or in a schematic fashion, in a dark interior. Gris' fascination with light may have different sources and aspects. On the one hand, his pictorial conception has been pointed out as the projection of a new sensitivity, inspired by experience; and on the other, there is his knowledge of the Spanish Baroque still life, where metaphysical light is what brings illumination.


  • Title: Grapes
  • Creator: Juan Gris
  • Date Created: 1916
  • Style: Cubism
  • Provenance: Bought, 1997
  • Physical Dimensions: w470 x h550 mm
  • Original Title: Les raisins
  • Type: Painting
  • Medium: Oil on plywood

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