Juan Gris. Breakfast. (1914)

Juan Gris



Gouache, oil, and crayon on cut-and-pasted printed paper on canvas with oil and crayon
31 7/8 x 23 1/2" (80.9 x 59.7 cm)
Acquired through the Lillie P. Bliss Bequest
Object number
© 2016 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris
Drawings and Prints
This work is not on view.
Juan Gris has 21 works online.
There are 14,249 drawings online.

The papier collé, invented by Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso in 1912, found a rich and complex expression in the 1914 works of Gris. In conception, his papiers collés are closer to paintings than are the sparely drawn compositions of his forerunners; unlike them Gris covers the whole surface with pasted papers and paint. In works such as Breakfast, Gris's use of printed papers is more literal than theirs: the wood-grained fragments usually follow some of the contours of a table and are therefore integral to the composition; and his perspectival cues are relatively legible and precise. His superimposed drawings of domestic objects, fragmented yet softly modeled and most often seen from above, combine to create a more representational pictorial composition than those of Braque and Picasso.

Despite these observations, Breakfast is full of troubling contradictions. The striped wallpaper background spills across the table; certain objects (a glass on the left, a bottle in the upper right) appear as ghostly presences; the coffeepot is disjointed; the tobacco packet is painted and drawn in photographically realistic trompe l'oeil, but its label is real. Thus, while aspects of domestic comfort are captured in this image, Gris also raises many subjective and objective questions about how reality is perceived.

Publication excerpt from The Museum of Modern Art, MoMA Highlights, New York: The Museum of Modern Art, revised 2004, originally published 1999, p. 76

Provenance Research Project
This work is included in the Provenance Research Project, which investigates the ownership history of works in MoMA's collection.
Galerie Kahnweiler, Paris. Acquired fromGris, 1914
Kahnweiler collection and gallery stock sequestered by French Government as property of a German enemy in 1914. Second Kahnweiler auction, Hotel Drouot, Paris, November 17-18, 1921, no. 148
Galerie Simon ( Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler’s second gallery,1920-40), Paris. Purchased at 2 nd Kahnweiler sale by Mr. Grassat for Kahnweiler, November 1921. Exhibited at Galerie Simon in 1923
Galerie Louise Leiris (Kahnweiler’s third gallery, from 1940), Paris. By 1948
The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Acquired from Galerie Louise Leiris through the Lillie P. Bliss Bequest, 1948

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