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: The Moment of Change: A Braque Landscape in The Minneapolis Institute of Arts


Alvin Martin



Institution Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Painted in October of 1907, Georges Braque's Viaduct at L'Estaque (figure 1), now in The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, represents the direct link between Braque's comprehension of the structural implications of Cézanne and his own development of the formal vocabulary of early cubism.1 At the same time the painting is a transitional work. In its relationships to other works of that autumn, the painting marks the twilight of Braque's association with the colorful pyrotechnics of his fauvist experience.At the time of its painting, Braque had been exhibiting professionally less than two years. The Salon des Independants of 1906 marked his debut as the newest and youngest member of the fauvist circle. Following this exhibit, he spent the summer in Antwerp with Emile-Othon Friesz. In the autumn, at the suggestion of Andre Derain, he made his first trip to L'Estaque, a small port near Marseilles, where Cézanne had painted in the 1880s. There Braque remained until February 1907, when he returned briefly to Paris to spend the late winter and spring.In April of 1907 at the Salon des Independants, he scored his first triumph as a fauve. All seven of the landscapes on display were sold, six during the exhibit to the German collector and author William Uhde, and the seventh, a little later, to another German who became Braque's dealer, Daniel Henry Kahnweiler.2 This exhibit also brought his first serious critical acclaim. Gazette des Beaux Arts listed his name beside those of Matisse, Derain, and Vlaminck as a leading member of the avant-garde.3 Despite his public success as a fauve, the following autumn Braque found a new direction.Braque left Paris with Othon Friesz shortly after the Salon des Independants closed.4 Probably in early May they went to their native Le Havre to join Raoul Dufy in the preparation of the second annual Exposition des Cercle d'Art Moderne du Havre, an event the three of them had founded the previous summer.5 The opening was in early June. Following the vernissage, Braque and Friesz returned to Paris where they undoubtedly saw the exhibition of seventy-five Cézanne watercolors which opened at Bernheim Jeune on 17 June 1907.6 This exhibit, the largest of Cézanne's since the Vollard showing of 1895, not only celebrated the deceased master but anticipated the posthumous retrospective planned by the Salon d'Automne for the following October.7 Given the enormous stature attained by the Aix master and the admiration that both Braque and Friesz held for him, it is difficult to believe they would have missed this event. They then proceeded south to La Ciotat, a resort town between Marseilles and Toulon, where they spent the summer.Braque had been interested in Cézanne at least since the previous autumn. Factory at L'Estaque (figure 2), painted in October or November of 1906, now in Saidenberg Collection in New York, clearly shows these developing affinities. The town with the smokestack of the factory of the Rio Tinto Zinc Company is a motif Cézanne had painted several times during his own painting expeditions to L'Estaque. The layered passages in the landscape, the high horizon, and hatched brushwork show the beginning of Cézanne's influence as Braque simultaneously attempted to resolve the expressive ebullience of fauvist form and color.His House on the Hill, La Ciotat (figure 3), painted ten months later, indicates the evolution of both Braque's fauvist style and his latent Cézannism. The painting, now in New York's Museum of Modern Art, employs many of the same compositional elements as Factory at L'Estaque but also includes blue accent lines and an emphasis on the oblique angles in the house, two elements that seem inspired by the late Cézanne watercolors he had seen earlier in the summer. Completed in late August or early September of 1907, the painting exhibits an assured handling of glowing colors, lyrical curvilinear drawing, and expressive yet subtle textures. It is Braque's last purely fauvist painting and one of his finest.In early September of 1907, Friesz and Braque moved from La Ciotat to L'Estaque for a sojourn that was described to be of great importance of Braque. This second visit to the little port marked a turning point in his style. In mid September, Braque went to Paris to submit his summer's work to the jury of the Salon d'Automne.8 He had but one work, The Red Rocks, accepted. This must have been disappointing, but he stayed for the vernissage and the great Cézanne retrospective which was the centerpiece of the show.9 Braque was deeply moved by the retrospective, and his subsequent stylistic evolution altered the course of modern art.William Rubin in his seminal essay, “Cézannisme and the Beginnings of Cubism,” believes that the effect of this show on Braque has been overemphasized.10 I do not. His exposure to these works represents precisely the moment at which his work began to change.Through an often overlooked passage by Guillaume Apollinaire in his gossipy review of the Salon d'Automne for Je dis Tout, we are able to learn with some exactness of Braque's feelings and activities, and through the paintings done after the exhibit, the nature of his new Cézannesque point of departure. Apollinaire wrote of Braque:
Almost everything he sent was refused. He has only a single painting here. But he is finding solace after these exhibitionist frustrations in the south of France. The attic of the house where he is staying contains a large number of books and at present Georges Braque is reading the good works of the sixteenth-century polygraphs. . .11
This was published on 19 October 1907. The Salon d'Automne had opened eighteen days earlier. Thus Braque had been in Paris, had seen both the exhibit and Apollinaire, and had returned to L'Estaque between these two dates.12 The reference to sixteenth-century polygraphs may indicate the direction of Braque's thoughts. In French literary usage “polygraph” refers to learned writers on many subjects. Braque's interest in these books suggests that some of them may have contained writings on Renaissance art and theory, perhaps the geometry of perspective and proportion. Cézanne was seen by many at this time to embody two much-discussed contemporaneous artistic concepts. One was the “new classicism” seen as essential to the rejuvenation of modern art by such Cézanne admirers as Emile Bernard, Maurice Denis and Charles Camoin. Simultaneously, Cézanne gave strength to the notion of the necessity of mathematical and scientific principles underlying composition, an idea that had gained currency through such neo-impressionist spokesmen as Georges Seurat, Paul Signac, Felix Feneon and Charles Henry. During the retrospective the master was described both as the “revitalizer of Poussin after nature” and the originator of the dictum “approach nature through the sphere, the cylinder and the cone.” Thus Braque's interest in the Renaissance polygraphs indicates not only the timbre of the times but also the direction his work soon took.”13Braque's previous interest in Cézanne had been affected by his own preoccupations with the exuberance of fauvist color and expressiveness, inspired to a degree by the lyricism of Cézanne's watercolors. The retrospective included a number of Cézanne's more structured oil paintings of the 1880s and 1890s. Here Braque had the opportunity to examine these works thoroughly. What he began to see in Cézanne was something innate in his own artistic makeup—structural order and geometry.Viaduct at L'Estaque is one of at least four paintings begun by Braque upon his return to L'Estaque after viewing the Salon d'Automne. This group of pictures, which also includes View of L'Estaque (figure 4), Terrace of the Hotel Mistral L'Estaque (figure 5), and Houses at L'Estaque (figure 6), represents Braque's transition from fauvism into his Cézannesque or early cubist style.The chronology which I propose for these works is at variance with that of William Rubin.14 While agreeing with Rubin's conclusion in his essay, I take issue with a number of details. Rubin proposes that these pictures antedate Braque's exposure to the Cézanne retrospective.15 This fails to take into account Apollinaire's eyewitness evidence to the contrary. Further, Rubin's task was complicated by the fact that, at the time of his writing, Viaduct (figure 1) was known only from an old black-and-white photograph.16 The reappearance of this work in The Minneapolis Institute of Arts has greatly clarified the situation.It is doubtful that Braque painted at all between the time he left La Ciotat and the time he returned to L'Estaque from Paris after his interview with Apollinaire. During that time, he and Friesz probably had time only to find and rent the house with the attic containing the polygraphs' books before Braque left for the capital with his salon submission. All of Braque's autumn paintings of 1907 were done at L'Estaque between early October and mid-November when he once again returned to Paris. One of the paintings, Terrace at the Hotel Mistral L'Estaque (figure 5), is known to have been finished in his Paris studio during late fall or early winter.17Viaduct at L'Estaque is, as Rubin agrees, the most clearly Cézannesque in character. The first in the group, it was painted in early October with the retrospective's new revelations in the forefront of Braque's imagination. The picture is an homage to the deceased master and springboard for further development. Here Braque employs a number of Cézannesque devices, including the foreground trees which frame the composition, a downward then upward-looking double perspective, and a high horizon. However, as Douglas Cooper and Gary Tinterow observe, “Braque is still indebted to fauvism for his range and use of color.”18 The vivid passages of pink, mauve, green and yellow combined with curvilinear edges of the layered planes, which form the foreground and repeat themselves in the framing vegetation, place Viaduct as a transitional step between House on the Hill, La Ciotat (figure 3) and his evolving Cézannism. This direction is most obvious in the center of the composition. Braque emphasizes the oblique planes of architectural forms and concentrates linear geometric elements—regular curves, verticals, and horizontals—into a rectilinear massing of shapes which describe the town.A daily chronology of the completion of the other pictures in the group is difficult to establish with certainty. All were begun within a few weeks of each other, and throughout his career, Braque worked on and reworked several paintings simultaneously. In conception, however, one may see the basis of stylistic sequence.Because of its dependence on Cézannesque motifs and its proximity in formal terms to both Viaduct and House on the Hill, View of L'Estaque, now in Geneva, is likely the second painting in the L'Estaque series. The subject, the high horizon, and treatment of the distant hills beyond the bay of Marseilles are very reminiscent of Cézanne, for example, his often reproduced Bay of Marseilles Viewed from L'Estaque, of 1883-85 now in New York's Metropolitan Museum, as Rubin also points out.19 Braque had also frequently painted views of gulfs, bays, and inlets in his previous fauvist landscapes.In View of L'Estaque, Braque also retains much of House on the Hill. Both employ Cézannesque layered planes receding to a high horizon and hatching brushwork in the sky. Each uses a prominent organic shape in the form of a tree near the middle of the composition to unify the foreground and background, thereby creating a central focus in the composition and emphasizing the two-dimensionality of the picture's surface. In both paintings, the simultaneous interplay of flat pattern, color, and space established by both atmosphere and scale creates a rhythm of tension and release.View of L'Estaque, however, indicates Braque's new emphasis on rectilinear rather than curvilinear form—the architectural rather than the organic—already established in his Cézannesque model Viaduct (figure 1). Whether describing the outlines of rooftops, tree trunks, or walls, these straight lines direct the eye towards other vertical, horizontal, or diagonal elements in the design. Visually the composition is tightly interwoven like fabric on a loom. For all of its virtues, however, View of L'Estaque is a bit contrived. In the remaining two paintings begun in the Midi during the autumn of 1907, Terrace of the Hotel Mistral (figure 5) and Houses at L'Estaque (figure 6), Braque becomes more fluent with his new pictoral vocabulary.Just which one of these paintings was earlier is difficult to establish, but Hotel Mistral is known to have been finished later in Paris. Conceptually, however, Houses at L'Estaque is, as Rubin also observes, the major step both on his road to independence from fauvism and towards his synthesis of the lessons of Cézanne.20 In this painting, fauvist curvilinearity is subordinated to angularity. Only in a small portion of the foreground are there vestiges of the La Ciotat style. As in View of L'Estaque, Braque uses diagonal wall to supply a spatial entry into the scene. Then, as in Viaduct, he confounds the perspective with an emphasis which perceptually pushes them forward in the design. This device became a basic component of early cubist works. Houses at L'Estaque is clearly seminal in the development of cubism. It is the most radical of Braque's 1907 L'Estaque pictures in its shift from curve to angles, yet it retains his sensitive handling of paint and color in the broad transparent manner of his late fauve style.The design of Terrace of the Hotel Mistral seems to be the penultimate of the L'Estaque landscapes. The painting depends to a degree on the Cézannesque lessons of Viaduct in its use of screening foreground trees and repetition of receding architectural horizontals.21 However, the curving outlines of the vegetation in the middle distance and background are more closely related to Braque's treatment of such elements in House on the Hill, La Ciotat; Viaduct at L'Estaque; and View of L'Estaque than to the rectilinear angles of Houses at L'Estaque.The most important difference between Terrace and the other three pictures is color. Braque abandons the pastel pinks, mauves, and yellows in favor of what Rubin calls “. . . a darkish anti-fauve tonality. . . centered on green, ochre, sienna and blue, a palette not untypical of Cézanne. . ..”22 Rubin attributes this change in palette to Braque's return to Paris and his renewed acquaintance with the Aix master through the Salon d'Automne exhibit. As I have shown, however, Braque had already seen these works before he began the L'Estaque paintings. The change in color is, no doubt, due to his return to Paris, not at the time of the retrospective which closed on 20 October 1907, but after his return from L'Estaque in mid-November. Indeed, the change probably had something to do with Cézanne, but it is well to remember that the leading fauves, Matisse and Derain, both of whom were Braque's friends and mentors, had themselves begun to use more somber colors and dark outlines in their own work.23 That Terrace was finished in Paris rather than L'Estaque is, however, most significant. “Here,” as Rubin so correctly puts it, “for the first time Braque was not working before the motif, and his freedom from visual data engendered a rapid movement towards abstraction.”24Three of the four L'Estaque pictures stand out in the transition Braque's style was undergoing in late 1907. Viaduct established his interest in structural and geometric Cézannism. Terrace liberated him from dependence upon both nature and fauvist color. In Houses at L'Estaque, the most advanced in both conception and composition, Braque abandoned the curvilinear vocabulary of fauvism and began to concentrate on the abstract and angular construction that ultimately became the “little cubes” that Matisse noticed ten months later.25Most importantly, it is these L'Estaque paintings that dissociate Braque from any influence of Picasso during his development of early cubism. All of the landscapes were conceived before they met.26 Indeed it is probably this radical construction of Houses at L'Estaque that led Guillame Apollinaire to introduce them in November or December of 1907. Though the most indicative of Braque's new direction, the cubist implications of Houses at L'Estaque were only dawning. Ultimately his first Cézannesque model, Viaduct, became the pictorial source from which the new style was resolved during the winter of 1907-08.In mid-November following his return to Paris from the second L'Estaque sojourn, Braque met Picasso in his studio and saw for the first time Les Demoiselles d'Avignon. Braque initially responded unfavorably as did most of the early viewers of the strange masterpiece.27 According to tradition, however, he was sufficiently unnerved by Picasso's painting to feel he had to respond in kind. Legend has it that his response was to create several images of female nudes—a pencil drawing,28 an etching from this drawing, a pen and ink drawing called La Femme, now lost, which he gave to the American journalist Gelette Burgess,29 and his much discussed Bather or Standing Nude.30 The relationship of these pictures both to Picasso's work and to Braque's own development has been overemphasized. William Rubin aptly points out that their sources in Cézanne, Matisse, and Derain are equally as compelling as any relationship they may bear to Picasso's Desmoiselles.31Also, one cannot believe that Braque, who had painted no fewer than seventy-five pictures between the spring of 1906 and the autumn of 1907, spent the entire winter of 1907-08 creating only these modest works.32 The two drawings are small and sketchy and could not have required more than a few minutes each to execute. The print is certainly not a labored plate and is simply a transcription of the Standing Nude drawings. The Bather, judging from its pentimenti, may be, as Rubin says, a “battlefield,”33 but its handling is somewhat cursory. No doubt it was reworked several times before its completion, but there simply are neither enough brushmarks nor sufficient paint on its surface to indicate that it was the sole object of Braque's endeavor for nearly six month's.34 There were probably other sketches and perhaps other paintings now missing or destroyed, but Braque was never primarily a figure painter. What else then might he have done during this critical winter?Braque probably undertook the still life, a subject that later became a preoccupation. Nicole Worms de Romilly, Claude Laurens, and William Rubin all suggest the possibility that his Still Life with Musical Instruments,35 shown at the Kahnweiler solo exhibit in November of 1908, was done at this time.36In the winter and spring of 1908, however, Braque was primarily a painter of landscapes. This remained his principal interest until the still life began to supercede it in the autumn of 1908. Therefore, given that he had recently found his independence from fauvism through his L'Estraque landscapes and developed an impetus towards geometry and abstraction, as well as both the desire and practice of working in his studio rather than from the motif, it is difficult to believe that he simply put aside for nearly half a year the subject that most compelled him. I believe that Braque continued to develop those autumn landscapes during the winter as well as his explorations of the figure and still life. Further, it was his initial painting in homage to Cézanne, Viaduct, that supplied the basis for these developments.Two paintings, Viaduct and Factories (figure 7), now in the collection of Mr. and Mrs. Claude Laurens in Paris, and Trees and Viaduct (figure 8), in a private collection, are both based on this earlier motif. Rubin observes that, compared to the Minneapolis Viaduct, the Laurens picture “. . . already markedly cubist in character provides an emphatic measure of the continuity in Braque's development from September 1907 to the summer of 1908.”37 It also, he suggests, “. . . is an unabashedly Cézannian conception from the compositional points of view and it is clear. . . that the facture particularly in the execution of the foreground trees marks Braque's further development of Cézanne’s constructive stroke into the broad diagonal notation that was to characterize his painting in 1908.”38On these two points Rubin is most assuredly correct. Braque's entire oeuvre is one of continuous evolution. Each stylistic advance synthesized new ideas with past ones. That the Laurens's Viaduct is a further development of constructive Cézannism and is thematically closely related to the Minneapolis Viaduct is equally evident. Rubin, however, believes both the Paris Viaduct (figure 7) and Trees and Viaduct were done during the summer of 1908 on Braque's third and final stay in L'Estaque.39 This is not surprising given the traditional belief that on this trip Braque created the first “truly cubist” pictures. But there is evidence enough, I believe, to propose and earlier date for these two works.Formally speaking, both Viaduct and Viaduct and Trees seem to be not a return to a previous locale but an extension into abstraction. Each uses the Minneapolis picture as a source for further exploration, not in situ but in the Paris studio. In working from a previous painting, Braque was simply following his inclination toward freedom from direct encounter with nature that he had already established in Terrace.40 The addition of these two works to Braque's winter output of female nudes also provides a far more plausible oeuvre for him between November and May or June, when he left again for L'Estaque.The winter of 1907-08 was a very busy period for Braque. Not only was he in the process of changing his style, but he was in the process of changing style, but he was also preparing his submission for the Salon des Independants in the spring. At the same time he had been invited to participate in the prestigious Toison d'Or exhibit in Moscow which opened 18 April 1908. The five works Braque sent to Russia were all fauvist pieces, mostly from La Ciotat.41 This exhibit is the last in which Braque is clearly associated with the fauves. In the Independants of 1908 his new identity emerged.The catalogue of the Salon des Independants, which opened on 20 March, indicates that Braque submitted the following four works to the exhibit: The Cove, The Valley, Drawing, and Landscape. These works are significant since, by Apollinaire's own testimony it was at this exhibit, not at the Kahnweiler show of the following autumn, that the first cubist paintings were shown.42There is some discrepancy between eyewitness accounts of the salon and Braque's list of works in the catalogue. Three reviews of the exhibition refer with astonishment to nudes, a subject not listed in the catalogue.43 This is relatively easy to account for. To allow time for printing, the date for the submission of titles to the catalogue was somewhat earlier than the opening of the exhibit. The Independants, however, was not a juried show. Participants simply paid a fee for a certain amount of space in which to hang their work. Thus, between the time the catalogue went to press and the opening of the salon, Braque must have decided to either change or add to his submission.The most revealing account of Braque's work comes once again from Apollinaire who wrote:
M. Georges Braque's large composition appears to me to the most original effort of this Salon. Certainly the evolution of this artist from his tender Valley to his latest composition is considerable. And yet these two canvases were painted at an interval of only six months.44
The Valley is one of two fauve paintings of that title executed during the previous summer at La Ciotat. Apollinaire was on intimate terms with Braque and had no doubt been observing the transition taking place in his style. Most likely the “composition” which Apollinaire refers to is a landscape, possibly the one of that title in the catalogue. It is improbable that he would compare a landscape to a nude. Thus the “composition,” painted six months after the Valley in August of 1907, would have been completed in February of 1908, just in time to submit to the salon.Apollinaire goes on to reveal something both of Braque's state of mind as well as his developing style. He states:
One must not dwell too much on the summary expression of this composition, but it must be recognized that M. Braque has unfalteringly realized his will to construct.45
Apollinaire concludes by saying:
The science of construction poses many as yet unresolved problems for a painter. M. Braque courageously confronts some of them. This is but one of the eventful stages in the proud ascent of the artist, whose anxiety will soon diminish.46
While he makes no direct reference to the title of the work or works in question, I believe that Apollinaire saw one of the Viaduct landscapes (figures 7 and 8) that derive from the Minneapolis Viaduct at L'Estaque or something very similar. Braque had been modifying his style since the revelations of the Cézanne retrospective some five months earlier and had imbued his work—nudes, landscapes, and still lifes alike—with his “will to construct,” but he remained, right up to the time of the Salon des Independants, “anxious” about the implications of his new direction. Apollinaire was prophetic in noting that the ancient would soon diminish. Independently, perhaps not fully realizing it himself, Braque had by the spring of 1908 set in motion the cubist revolution.Alvin Martin is associate professor of art history at Southern Methodist University. He received his doctoral degree from Harvard University, and has published several articles on Georges Braque and topics related to cubism.Endnotes
  1. This painting, which remained from 1908 to 1979 in an unidentified private collection, was acquired by The Minneapolis Institute of Arts through the John R. Van Derlip Fund, Fiduciary Fund, and various donors. Prior to its appearance on the art market in 1979, it was known only through a black-and-white photograph. Viaduct at L'Estaque recently appeared in the exhibition and catalogue by Douglas Cooper and Gary Tinterow, The Essential Cubism (London: The Tate gallery, 1983).
  2. Kahnweiler opened his gallery at 28 rue Vignon in the spring of 1907. He immediately began to buy works by Vlaminck, Derain, Van Donge, and Braque followed shortly by Picasso, Léger, and Gris. Braque signed an exclusive contract with Kahnweiler in 1912. The Kahnweiler archive now in the Galerie Louise Leiris in Paris remains the single most important repository for the documentation of the early works of these artists. See also D. H. Kahnweiler and Francis Cremieux, My Galleries and Painters (New York: Viking Press, 1972).
  3. Andre Prerate, “Salons de 1907,” Gazette des Beaux Arts, 3rd ser., 38 (1907): 356.
  4. The Salon des Independants of 1907 closed on 20 April.
  5. The exhibit included concerts of Maurice Ravel and Florent Schmidt and paintings by Derain, Marquet, Manguin, Bonnard, Dufy, Friesz, and Braque. See Maximilien Gauthier, Othon Friesz (Geneva, 1957).
  6. Not 1906 as suggested by Cooper and Tinterow, The Essential Cubism, 36.
  7. Cézanne died in the autumn of 1906. The Salon d'Automne committee immediately undertook to celebrate his achievements by forming a retrospective for their next exhibit in October of 1907.
  8. The exhibit opened 1 October 1907. To allow time for printing the catalogue, the jury must have met and made its decisions by at least 20 September.
  9. Braque's painting was probably The Cove, La Ciotat, now in a private collection in Paris, or a work quite similar to it, as this is the only extant fauvist work of Braque which fits the title The Red Rocks.
  10. William Rubin, “Cézannisme and the Beginnings of Cubism,” Cézanne, the Late Works (New York: Museum of Modern Art, 1977), 155.
  11. Guillaume Apollinaire, “Le Salon d”Automne,” Je dis Tout (19 October 1907) from Apollinaire on Art: Essays and Reviews 1902-1918, trans. Susan Suleiman, ed. Leroy C. Breunig (New York: Viking Press, 1972), 34. “On a refuse la presque totalite de son envoi. Il n'a ici q'un seul tableau. Mais il se console de ses deboires exhibitionnistes dans le Midi de la France. Le grenier de la maison ou il loge contient un grand nombre de bouquins et Georges Brauqe lit en ce moment les bons ouvrages des polygraphes du XVIe siecle.”
  12. It is uncertain whether Friesz accompanied Braque to Paris or remained behind in L'Estaque. At this time, he and Braque did remarkably different paintings on the same motif, the terrace at the Hotel Mistral. See Rubin, “Cézannisme,” 160-1.
  13. At the time of the retrospective Emile Bernard published a number of his letters from Cézanne in an article, “Souvenirs su Paul Cézanne et lettres inedites” (Mercure de France, 1 October and 15 1907). These include the oft-noted statements concerning Poussin and the sphere, the cylinder and the cone. These words, however, were already current in regard to Cézanne at the time of Bernard's publication. References to Poussin, classicism and geometry appear in earlier criticism. For an excellent recent bibliographic summary of the evolution and importance of Cézanne criticism, see Judith Weschler, The Interpretation of Cézanne (Ann Arbor: U.M.I. Research Press, 1981), chapters one and two. For further critical and bibliographic discussion, see also: George Heard Hamilton, “Cézanne and His Critics,” Cézanne: The Late Works, 139-50; John Rewald, The History of Impressionism (New York: Museum of Modern Art, 4th rev. ed., 1973); and Lionello Venturi, Cézanne (New York: Rizzoli International Publications International Publications, 1978). For discussion of Neo-Impressionist art and theory, see Jose A. Arguelles, Charles Henry and the Formation of a Psychophysical Aesthetic (Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 1972) and William I. Homer, Seurat and the Science of Painting (Cambridge, Mass.: The M.I.T. Press, 1964).
  14. Cf. Rubin, “Cézannisme,” 159-72.
  15. Ibid., 159-61.
  16. See Note 1 above.
  17. Rubin, “Cézannisme,” 160.
  18. Cooper and Tinterow, The Essential Cubism, 36.
  19. Rubin, “Cézannisme,” 160.
  20. Ibid., 165.
  21. Cf. Cooper and Tinterow, The Essential Cubism, 36.
  22. Rubin, “Cézannisme,” 161.
  23. This is particularly evident in such works as Derain's Bathers, 1909, private collection, Switzerland (cf. Rubin, “Cézannisme,” 156) and Matisse's Blue Nude, 1907, Baltimore Museum of Art, Cone Collection (cf. Rubin, “Cézannisme,” 169).
  24. Rubin, “Cézannisme,” 161.
  25. Matisse is supposed to have used these words in dismissing Braque's submission to the jury of the Salon d'Automne in the autumn of 1908. Braque, angered by the rejection, arranged a one-man exhibit at Galerie Kahnweiler in November of 1908, the first “cubist” exhibit. In his Paris review of this exhibition in Gil Blas, 14 November 1908, the critic Louis Vauxcelles used his friend Matisse's words, thus placing the term “cube” in association with modernist art for the first time.
  26. Rubin, “Cézannisme,” 162.
  27. Kahnweiler and Cremieux, My Galleries and My Painters, 38-39.
  28. For an illustration of this pencil drawing, see Nicole Worms de Romilly and Jean Laude, Braque Le Cubisme: Catalogue de L'Oeuvre, 1907-1914 (Paris: A. Maeght, 1982), 62.
  29. For illustrations of these works, see Rubin, “Cézannisme,” 168, 170, 171.
  30. Illustrations can be found in Rubin, “Cézannisme,” 171.
  31. Rubin, “Cézannisme,” 166-69.
  32. Nicole Worms de Romilly has in her collection of photographs and documents of Braque's fauve period no fewer than seventy-five examples of paintings done between 1906 and 1908. There were probably many more which have been lost or destroyed. Mme. de Romilly will publish her findings in the final volume of her Catalogue de L'Oeuvre de Braque.
  33. Rubin, “Cézannisme,” 166.
  34. Rubin himself finds this a bit difficult. See his note 77, p. 198.
  35. For an illustration of this work, see de Romilly and Laude, Braque Le Cubisme, 62.
  36. Rubin, “Cézannisme,” 198.
  37. Ibid., 160.
  38. Ibid.
  39. Ibid., 161, 163, 177.
  40. Ibid., 161.
  41. The Societe de la Toison d'Or was an organization similar to the Salon d'Automne in Paris and the Societe des Vingt in Brussels. It organized annual exhibits showing works of internationally prominent artists which were documented in its magazine Toison d'Or. Braque's works in the exhibit are reproduced in this journal in May 1908 and June 1909.
  42. Guillaume Apolliniare, “Cubisme,” L'Intermediaire des chercheurs et des curieux (10 October 1912), from Breunig, Apollinaire on Art, 257.
  43. See Edward Fry, “Cubism 1907-1908: An Early Eyewitness Account.” Art Bulletin 48:1(March 1966): 71-73.
  44. “La grand composition de M. Georges Braque me parait etre l'effort le plus nouveau de ce Salon. Certes, le chemin parcouru par l'artiste depuis Le Vallon plein de tendresse jusqu'a sa nouvelle composition est considerable. Et cependant ces tableaux ont ete peints a six mois d'interalle.” (Revue des Lettres et des Arts, 1er Mai 1908) Breunig, Apollinaire on Art, 43.
  45. “Il ne faut pas s'attarder a l'expression sommaire de cette composition, mais on doit reconnaitre que M. Braque a realise sans une defaillance sa volonte de construire.” Ibid.
  46. “La science de la construction propose au peintre bien des problemes non encore resolus. M. Braque en aborde courageusement quelques-uns. Ce n'est qu'une etape mouvementee de l'ascension orgueilleuse de l'artiste que bientot, sand doute, on retrouvera moins anxieux.” Ibid., 52.
Referenced Works of Art
  1. Georges Braque, French, 1882-1963, Viaduct at L'Estaque, 1907, (October), Oil on canvas, 35 5/8 X 31 inches, The John R. Van Derlip Fund, The Fiduciary Fund, Gift of Funds from Mr. and Mrs. Patrick Butler, and Various Donors, 82.22.
  2. Georges Braque, Factory at L'Estaque, 1906, (October-November), Saidenberg collection, New York.
  3. Georges Braque, Houses on a Hill, La Ciotat, 1907, (August-September), The Museum of Modern Art, New York.
  4. Georges Braque, View of L'Estaque, 1907, (October), Private collection, Switzerland.
  5. Georges Braque, Terrace of the Hotel Mistral L'Estaque, 1907, (late October-late November), Private collection, New York.
  6. Georges Braque, Houses at L'Estaque, 1907, (October-November), Private collection, France, ex-collection Marius de Zayas.
  7. Georges Braque, Viaducts and Factories, 1907-08, (October-November), Collection M. and Mme., Claude Laurens, Paris.
  8. Georges Braque, Trees and Viaduct, 1908, (January-February), Private collection, London.
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Source: Alvin Martin, "The Moment of Change: A Braque Landscape in The Minneapolis Institute of Arts," <i>The Minneapolis Institute of Arts Bulletin</i> 65 (1981-1982): 82-92.
Rights: ©MIA
Added to Site: March 10, 2009