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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
Email: [email protected] / Phone: +44 7429 011000

Juan Gris was a famous Spanish painter from the 20th century whose played a key role in the Cubism movement, which also included Georges Braque, Fernand Leger and Pablo Picasso.

Juan Gris is best known for his Cubist still life paintings which took in a variety of objects which he would carefully prepare, though a portrait of Pablo Picasso also remains amongst his most famous paintings. Juan Gris was a creative artist who used many different art mediums combined together, which was much more unusual then as compared to now, where mixed media artists are exceptionally common. Besides his mixed-media paintings which used elements such as gouache, collage, chalk and charcoal on canvas, Juan Gris was also prominent in sculpture and drawing as well.

It is undoubtably the still life paintings, though, for which the artist is best remembered by most and the consistency across his paintings ensures those who like his methods will have plenty of work from his career that they will like. Juan Gris had a birth name of Jose Victoriano Gonzalez-Perez and despite being Spanish he actually spent most of his life in France, where he found it considerably easier to gain attention in his highly contemporary work.

France itself had a truly impressive contemporary arts scene at that time which led the world in forward thinking ideas, following on closely from the impressionists who had similarly added great creative ideas to the development of French art.

There can be no doubt as to the flexibility of this artist, having produced several complex ballet sets and costumes for Russian Sergei Diaghilev which was quite a departure from his normal work, but still received critical acclaim that encouraged him to take on more commissions in this area. Ballet had earlier been key in the career of Edgar Degas.

It is sad that the artist died relatively young at 40, as otherwise it is likely that he would have found the time to continue expanding his skills and take in new art media all the time, possibly even combining more of them together. This website looks in detail at the career of Juan Gris and offers a gallery of around 25 of his best oil paintings from a highly productive and academically accepted career.

Fruit-Dish and Carafe

Fruit-Dish and Carafe is typically Juan Gris and you can see that above in all it's glory. You will note the clear areas of colour which leave a simple and bold finish as well as the small selection of colours, normally just one per object within the scene. Interestingly, the artist will use bold shapes to cover some objects whilst others, such as the carafe is depicted with a simple outline that perhaps is due to it's construction from glass. It is worth comparing the Cubist work of Juan Gris to Pablo Picasso, both having the techniques of breaking up a scene into fractures of colour that giving an image quite different to reality, but leaving objects still entirely recognisable.

Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso were the other well known members of the Cubist art movement but Juan Gris was to go in a slighly different direction, towards Synthetic Cubism which involved far brighter and bolder colours which to a certain degree found him new supporters and helped to differentiate his career from the other two. Three Musicians by Pablo Picasso is a great example of how this artist also experimented with Synthetic Cubism, with bold blues, yellows and whites contrasting significantly from his normally monochromatic Cubist paintings.

Guitar and Newspaper

Guitar and Newspaper can be seen above and is an interesting art work to look at within Gris's career. Firstly you will see the way he uses so many straight lines here to cover the different objects, thus bending reality whilst keeping original objects recognisable. This method is typical of Cubism. The objects of guitars and newspapers feature regularly in his still life paintings, and he would have perhaps used the same guitar several times in different pre-planned scenes. Juan Gris Cubist paintings are now very popular as framed or unframed giclee art print reproductions for those fans who still highly appreciate his work, and these people exist right across Europe and in America too.

Cubism is very popular thanks in part to the success of Pablo Picasso whose own achievements ensure that this contemporary art style always receives high levels of discussion. All of the images of Juan Gris paintings found within this website have links besides them from where you can find the Art.com Juan Gris prints gallery that holds a fine selection of his original paintings ready for sale as reproduction prints, posters or stretched canvases.

Fruit Bowl on a Tablecloth

Fruit Bowl on a Tablecloth is one of Juan Gris' more abstract work and attacks fruit bowls which have always been a common topic for still life painters. Paul Cezanne was certainly the most respected still life artist but his style was considerably different to Juan Gris. There are some similarities here to the work of artist Fernando Botero who also liked to create still life paintings of his own, with a little similarity between these abstract styles. The Colombian himself is best known for his oversizes characters who are found in other paintings that have come over the past 30 years.


Violin is another popular work selected by this artist and you can see that above, alongside links to where you can get your own copy to add to your home. Generally, Cubist paintings are ideal choices for those with minimalist-style contemporary homes as they can take all attention from an otherwise simplistic layout. For those in this situation, choosing Cubism prints with brights colours is certainly advisable in order to get the improvement to your room that you are after.