Lot 26
  • 26

Juan Gris

1,800,000 - 2,500,000 USD
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  • Juan Gris
  • Verre, tasse, et journal
  • Signed Juan Gris on the reverse
  • Oil on canvas
  • 18 1/4 by 10 3/4 in.
  • 46.5 by 27.5 cm


Galerie Kahnweiler, Paris

Paul Guillaume and Brandon Davis, Ltd., London

Roger Fry, London

Margery Fry, London (inherited from the above in 1934)

Joseph Slifka, New York

Norman Granz, Geneva (sold: Sotheby's, London, July 5, 1962, lot 257)

Ernest Charles Biggins, London (acquired at the above sale and sold: Sotheby's, London, November 26, 1967, lot 81)

Cumberland (acquired at the above sale)

Stephen Higgons, Paris

Dame Elizabeth Murdoch, Melbourne

Acquavella Galleries, New York

Paul F. Smith (acquired in 1974)

Acquavella Galleries, New York

Saidenberg Gallery, New York (acquired from the above in 1977)

Gradowczyk and Garcia Benitez Collection

Hirschl & Adler Gallery, New York

Private Collection (acquired from the above in 1997)

Michelle Rosenfeld Gallery, New York (on consignment)

Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2000



London, Mansard Gallery (Heal's), The New Movement in Art, 1917, no. 43

London, Arts Council Gallery; Nottingham, Leeds, Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Manchester, Vision and Design. The Life, Work and Influence of Roger Fry, 1966, no. 40

London, Lefevre Gallery, Important 19th and 20th Century Paintings, 1975, no. 4

London, The Whitechapel Art Gallery; Stuttgart, Kunstmuseum; Otterlo, Kröller-Müller Museum, Juan Gris, 1992-93, no. 37

Roslyn Harbor, The Nassau County Museum of Art, Poets and Painters, 1997

London, The Courtauld Gallery, Art made Modern: Roger Fry's Vision of Art, 1999-2000


Douglas Cooper, Juan Gris: Catalogue raisonné de l'oeuvre peint, vol. I, Paris, 1977, no. 46, illustrated p. 81

Christoper Green, Juan Gris, New Haven and London, 1992, illustrated p. 195


Excellent condition. Original canvas. Under ultra-violet light there is 1 small speck of inpainting in the semi-circle of blue along the left center edge. There are also some very minor specks of inpainting in the extreme lower left corner as well as some minute touches along the upper edge and extreme upper right corner. However, the body of the composition is largely untouched.
In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion.

Catalogue Note

Gris' Cubist composition Verre, tasse, et journal was created shortly before the outbreak of the First World War.  Over the course of the 1910s, several artists would attempt to adopt the perspectival and compositional devices that the Cubist founders Braque and Picasso had started using at the end of the first decade, but few would be as highly regarded for their talent and vision as Gris (see fig. 1).  As a result, Gris was considered as one of the leaders of the Cubist movement, along with Picasso (see fig. 2), Braque and Léger.  Recalling this period and her association with the Cubists, Gertrude Stein identified Gris as an artist of foremost importance among these cultural figures: "The only real Cubism is that of Picasso and Juan Gris. Picasso created it and Juan Gris permeated it with his clarity and exaltation" (Gertrude Stein, The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, New York, 1933, p. 111) (see fig. 2). 

Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler, Gris' dealer who was once in possession of this painting, provided the following analysis of Gris' particular Cubist style:  "... [T]he emblems which Juan Gris invented 'signified' the whole of the object which he meant to represent. All the details are not present. The emblems are not comprehensible without previous visual experiences. . . The picture contains not the forms which have been collected in the visual memory of the painter, but new forms, forms which differ from those of the 'real' objects we meet within the visible world, forms which are truly emblems and which only become objects in the perception of the spectator" (Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler, Juan Gris: His Life and Work, London, 1947, p. 90).

Another important figure to have owned the present work was Roger Fry, the influential art critic and champion of Modernist painting.  In addition to his distinction as a critic, Fry's  curatorial accomplishments included a period as curator of paintings at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and as a guest curator for the Grafton Galleries exhibition Manet and the Post-Impressionists.  Fry has been credited with 'discovering' Cézanne, and is often credited as one of the principal taste makers of the early 20th century for his influence on art collectors in Great Britain and the United States.   


Fig. 1, Juan Gris, 1922, photograph by Man Ray, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid

Fig. 2, Pablo Picasso, La bouteille et le journal, Spring 1913, pasted papers and charcoal on paper, National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin

Fig. 3, Juan Gris, Jarre, Flacon et Verre, 1911, oil on canvas, Museum of Modern Art, New York

Fig. 4, Juan Gris, La Table, 1914, collage and gouache on canvas, Philadelphia Museum of Art