The Portuguese oil canvas painting measures 46 by 32 inches and it is currently housed in the famous Basel Kunstmuseum. The Portuguese is the first and only painting in which the stencilled lettering made its appearance. According to Georges Braque, the lettering represents a transition between synthetic cubism and analytical cubism.
The painting is one of the earliest cubist paintings. While it is frequently mentioned in monographs, textbooks and articles on the artist as well as Cubism, this painting has never been a source of serious controversy. Most of his paintings consist of still lives which are remarkable for their low-key colour harmonies, robust construction, and serene, meditative quality. Cubism is the technique that was used in the creation of the Portuguese painting. Georges Braque introduced this technique of painting in 1911. The painting features stencilled letters BAL and numerals under them. The painter first introduced the still life technique in 1910 before introducing the Cubism style.
While working on this painting, Georges Braque combined the two techniques to come up with the Portuguese. The stencilled numbers and letters in the art are the assertions of realistic intentions of the Cubism technique. In the painting, the stencilled or written letters across the surface represent the most conclusive ways of emphasizing the picture's two-dimensional character and they also help stress the quality of the artwork. The Portuguese painting marks an interesting stage and point in the development of Georges' arts. At the top right-hand corner of the painting, there are D BAL letters and numerals under them. Although Georges had included various numbers as well as letters into the painting, they were the representational elements of the art.
In this painting, the numbers and letters are purely compositional additions. The main reasons for adding the letters and numbers to this painting are many, but they were mostly added to make its viewers aware of the canvas. In the Portuguese painting, the canvas is present as the primary surface to hold the images that the painter needs. By including numbers out of surface textures and context elements, the art viewers become aware of the fact that a canvas can also be used to hold outside elements. The artists related to this artwork include Picasso, who provided proto-cubist demoiselles and helped Georges to invent the Cubism style.
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