Juan Gris 1887-1927


Juan Gris was born Jose Victoriano Gonzalez in Madrid in 1887. It appeared that Gris was destined for a career in engineering, but instead, he went on to become one of the most important artists of the Synthetic Cubism style. Juan Gris’s prints and artwork are known for his lucidly composed still-lifes, which are major works and serve as a prime example of the Cubism style. 

While pursuing his engineering education in Madrid between, 1902 – 1904 he began to make drawings for newspapers in the Art Nouveau style, which served as the start of his career as an artist. In 1906, he moved to Paris, where he became friends with Guillaume Apollinaire, Max Jacob, and artists Henri Matisse, Georges Braque, Fernand Léger and Jean Metzinger. He continued his work as an illustrator. His darkly humorous illustrations were published in Le Rire, Le Cris de Paris, and the satirical anarchist magazine L'Assiette au Beurre.

Gris established residence at Bateau-Lavoir, an artist dwelling that was also the home of his friend and compatriot Pablo Picasso. It was here where Gris worked with Pablo Picasso to pioneer Cubism. In 1911, Gris abandoned his career as an illustrator and started to paint more seriously. As he began to develop his own personal style of Cubism’ Braque and Picasso also began to abandon their previous Cubist styles. The style of the three artists would ultimately become known as Synthetic Cubism. 

The evolutions in Gris’ art can be easily seen in two works which he completed within a short time frame. Gris’ Roses from 1914 serves as an example of his Analytical Cubism style. His large scale Nature Morte, which dates to 1915, is the first example of the artist’s move to Synthetic Cubism. Nature Morte fetched a hammer price of  $46,77 3,272 at Christie’s.

Gris’s paintings were considered more theoretical than those of Picasso or Braque. His paintings featured rigorously geometric compositions articulated for maximum clarity. The fact that Gris was able to make the discoveries and intuitions of his friends and colleagues comprehensible was a major factor in the growth and popularity of the Cubism movement. 

Between 1921 and 1927, Gris transformed his Synthetic Cubism idiom so that his style became increasingly free and lyrical.

Gris died of kidney failure in 1927.

The artwork of Juan Gris is very valuable, and Bailly Gallery is pleased to offer Gris’s original art for sale. The gallery will gladly arrange appointments for private viewings as well as welcome interested collectors to the gallery to view the works available. Gris’s works have a history of increasing in value and will make an addition to any collection. Contact us to arrange a private viewing or to discuss our current offerings.



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