La table du musicien (The Musician's Table)

Juan Gris (José Victoriano González Pérez)

Madrid, Spain, 1887 - Boulogne-sur-Seine, France, 1927

La table du musicien (The Musician's Table) is evidence of Juan Gris’ love of the world of music, shown here and in many other cases through the inclusion of an instrument. Plastic artworks symbolising or alluding to the different faculties for perceiving impressions form the world outside are very frequent in the history of painting, from ‘Velvet’ Brueghel to Caravaggio. However, the musical instruments in Juan Gris’ works (so central to Cubism but also indicative of the painter’s penchant for music and dancing) seem to be closer to those in paintings specifically focusing on these sound-producing implements, such as the allegories of the arts by Bartolomeo Bettera (the Bergamo-born Baroque painter), the Dutch vanitas of the 17th century or the trompe l'oeil pictures by the late 19th century American artist William Harnett.

Paloma Esteban Leal