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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
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The table top depictions of Juan Gris continue with this painting, titled simply Bottle, from the early 20th century.

The artist would often have less-then imaginative titles to his works and this lead to several different artworks from his career having the same names. There were several different titles from his career that were called Bottle or Bottles (one of which is owned by the Met in the US), and so they are best distinguished by the year in which they were completed. The bottle shape itself seems a fairly standard everyday item without little inspiration but the cubist artists from this period all used in regularly within their own work. They always managed to find elements of detail that could be played with within their alternative realities.

The famous French newspaper, Le Journal, is featured in this composition, with its elements sectioned and spread around in the typical fashion of the cubist movement. The table itself is relatively as you would see in real life, with Gris choosing to make amendments only to the items sat on it in this occasion. The bottle itself is tall and takes centre stage, leaving no-one in any doubt as to which element is the most significant to the artist in this particular composition. Part of a wooden door is placed at the back of the scene and there is also this polka-dot finish of detail which can also be found in A Pot of Geraniums, though in a much brighter palette.

The artist's approach to Cubism was termed as Synthetic Cubism. There were many other techniques used within this umbrella group, but this was to become the most common style used and also was present in the three leading members of the group, namely Picasso, Braque and Gris himself. Fernand Leger was another notable member of the group but his approach was truly unique, sometimes known as tubular in the way in which many of his objects were constructed from long, round shapes.