We can spot the keys of the piano almost immediately, placed close to the bottom of the painting. There are also curved wooden decorative pieces which one assumes to be the two sides of the piano, where the keys finish. The angles of this instrument are contorted, just as you would expect from the cubist movement, but there is enough to decipher this piece fairly easily. We believe the mandola, a type of guitar, to be the beige coloured item at the top of the canvas. There are the curved edges that one would expect, but the fractal nature of the depiction means we are not entirely sure. But what of the rest of the scene, for there is plenty more abstract shapes and variations in colour to peruse, and the items in the title have already pretty much been accounted for.
The artist produced this painting in the winter of 1909–10 and it is now a part of the world famous Guggenheim collection, which is spread across a number of galleries around the world. This was only just after the artist had moved on from his Fauvist phase and so these were his earliest forms of cubism at this point. Picsaso and Braque worked on some experimental ideas separately, though with a common theme, and their results would be relatively similar. The new direction was termed cubism very early on, but the movement was then to develop over time as they experimented with this new style of fractal forms.
As we start to look further into this painting, we find some sheets of paper just above the piano keys, which clearly would have been music notes. There is also a small candle to the side. Suddenly, we have understood almost all of the painting but the elements of the background which merge in from the side are still a mystery, and perhaps they are intended to be so. We see a similar style in Violin and Palette of the same year, where the artist strikes a consistent approach but experiments with the arrangement of objects to produce different results. These two paintings have actually been described as pendant paintings, such were the number of similarities between the two.
"...When fragmented objects appeared in my painting around 1909, it was a way for me to get as close as possible to the object as painting allowed..."