Object Image

Fruit Dish, Bottle and Violin

Although not the most recent painting in the National Gallery's collection, this picture is perhaps the most self-consciously modern. It is also the Gallery's only example of Cubism, the early twentieth-century art movement initiated by Pablo Picasso and his colleague Georges Braque, which radically transformed the visual arts, particularly through its rejection of single-point perspective that had dominated art since the Renaissance.

Although the picture may seem to be entirely abstract, there are several recognisable objects. These include a table, an off-white tablecloth with grey tassels, the strings and neck of a violin, part of a newspaper (including the letters 'AL' of 'JOURNAL') and a dish of fruit. Picasso shows these objects from more than one point of view - for example, we see the table from the side and also look down at it from above. He has also mixed sand with the paint in some areas to create texture.

Credit: Bought, 1979

Oil on canvas
92.0 x 73.0cm
Image and text © The National Gallery, London, 2024

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National Gallery