65.5 cm x 50.8 cm (25 13/16 in. x 20 in.)
(Paris, 1864 - 1938, Paris)
(Argenteuil-sur-Seine (Seine-et-Oise), 1882 - 1963, Paris)
Medium and Support:
Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, Purchase, 1998
Fox is one of a pair of drypoints created by Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso in August and September 1911. Its title and discernible motifs—a table with drawer and knob, a gin bottle, a playing card, a neon sign—refer to an English-style bar in Paris that was popular with the modernist circle. Later in 1911 Braque would elaborate upon this composition in a major painting, Bottle and Glass (Kunstmuseum, Bern, Switzerland).
Fox and Picasso’s companion piece, Bottle of Marc, were commissioned by the avant-garde dealer Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler, who had been inspired by the dealer Ambroise Vollard’s promotion of Paul Cézanne through prints. The two large drypoints mark the height of Picasso and Braque’s collaboration and underscore the collective nature of their research. Analytical Cubism, as they called it, was a systematic attempt to eliminate distinctions between figure and field and to downplay the personality of the artist’s hand while maintaining an almost classical equilibrium. Fox and Bottle of Marc are the most impressive prints and among the most significant statements of this fundamental modern style.
Fox and Bottle of Marc were printed first by the celebrated intaglio printmaker Eugène Delâtre and published by Kahnweiler in 1912. They were also reprinted perfunctorily in the 1950s. The present impression not only comes from the first edition but also displays the rich, textured line and the subtle veil of tone that characterize the earliest printings.