Looking deeper into his own particular method of expression, around 1915 and 1916 Juan Gris creates a series of paintings in which he abruptly leaves behind the explosive colour of previous years, as well as the multiplicity of elements that characterised his work, to reach an incredible pureness that features both chromatic and formal synthesism. He ostensibly reduces the quantity of objects represented, and makes less use of simultaneous aspects, doing away with the sections that divided the surface of his canvas into multiple facets. Furthermore, his earlier realism in the representation seems to disappear in favour of a more unifying look at the whole. The structure of the composition, in general, is simpler and the colour becomes flatter, making use of pointillism as a way to lighten the hard, compact ambience.

Wine Jug and Glass is one of the most expressive works of this stage in the artist's career. The economy of means, the dark ochre colours, the search for a single chromatic range, the clean lines and the simplicity of the composition create a contradictory effect. In appearance, it is very close to abstraction but on the other hand, this simplicity and austerity take it nearer to a pure painting that articulates a new and autonomous poetic reality, based on real experience, as advocated in the programme by Mallarmé, a poet much admired by Gris.


  • Title: Wine Jug and Glass
  • Creator: Juan Gris
  • Date Created: 1916
  • Style: Cubism
  • Provenance: Bought, 1984
  • Physical Dimensions: w380 x h460 mm
  • Original Title: Broc et verre
  • Type: Painting
  • Medium: Oil on panel

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