Série - Violins and guitars



"La Joueuse de guitare" by Jan Vermeer van Delft, 1670.


Edgar Degas "La leçon de danse", 1879. 
For us it's more like a painting lesson!




"Nature morte au violon", William Michael Harnett, a painting from 1888.


Picasso, "Bouteille de Bass et guitare", 1912


Pablo Picasso, "Guitare", december 1912.
The technique of papier collé, invented by Georges Braque in Sorgues in September 1912, is one of the most characteristic manifestations of the phase known as synthetic cubism. Picasso seized on it almost immediately, writing to his friend in October that he was using his last "paper-like and dusty processes".
Characterised by the integration of elements directly borrowed from reality, papier collés were the scene of a fertile encounter between life and art, and in particular between the popular culture of the street, with its advertisements and newspapers, and the noble culture of the fine arts, with its moulded frames and still lifes.
The collaged papers then entered into an intimate dialogue with the small and fragile paper constructions or contemporary assemblages of Guitare, and now nourished by the intimate knowledge of the Wobé-Grébo mask acquired in Marseille at the beginning of August 1912.


Pfff, not even time to read the paper that devil Picasso has already cut it out! "Bouteille, verre et violon", 1912-1913.


Juan Gris, "Violon et verre", 1913.


En 1913, a masterpiece is born under the fingers of Georges Braque, "Femme à la Guitare", cubism in its perfection.

And this is what Picasso was doing in 1913. "Violon accroché au mur".


"Joueur de guitare", 1914 by Pablo Picasso.


Henri Matisse, "Intérieur à l'étui de violon", 1918. 


Juan Gris, "Arlequin à la guitare", 1919.


In "Le Violoniste Vert" from 1923, Chagall talks about his homeland and religion. Chagall believes that it is possible to achieve communion with God through music and dance. The violinist is an essential part of Jewish ceremonies and festivals.
This is one of Chagall's paintings that made me, belatedly, love and even adore his work. You have to imagine yourself in front of this 2m high canvas. I was overwhelmed by the colour, then by the details, then again by the tints, then by the elements and geometric shapes that seem to be piled up, then all the references, whether historical, religious or artistic, are jostled together. So I don't struggle any more, I accept to receive this painting as a gift, I enter it, here I am in the small village of Vitebsk, I meet the actors of the history of art, oh, now I am in Saint-Paul, in my childhood, I hear the voice of Chagall, that of my grandmother...
I stay a long time in this happiness of painting, the most difficult thing is to come out of it and return to reality.




For my violins and guitars series, one of the most famous violins in art. "The Violin of Ingres", a photograph by the American Man Ray taken in 1924. It represents Kiki de Montparnasse, naked, whose back shows the soundholes of a violin.
Man Ray met Kiki de Montparnasse, whose real name was Alice Prin, in a café and offered to photograph her. She hesitates, as she has already posed for many painters.
Man Ray recounts in his autobiography that he then succeeded in convincing her by telling her: "I photograph as I paint, transforming the subject as a painter would". Kiki became the photographer's first companion in Paris. She moved in with him, posed for him and inspired him. Man Ray undoubtedly owes much of his fame to Kiki, in addition to his progress in the French language.


The "Paysan catalan à la guitare" painted in 1924, is part of a series of paintings produced after Miró's first visit to Paris in 1920 and his encounters with Dadaist and Surrealist poets and artists. The artist simplified his compositions and chose a personal language of signs and lines. Here, the peasant with his characteristic red cap is stylised and his contours contrast sharply with the intense blue background that dominates the painting.


Summer's colors with Henri Matisse, "Tabac Royal", 1943.


Raoul Dufy, "Le Violon rouge", 1948.


"The sad king, a charming dancer and a figure strumming a kind of guitar from which a flight of gold-coloured flying saucers escaped, circling the upper part of the composition to end up en masse around the dancer in action." This is how Henri Matisse himself described "La Tristesse du Roi". While Matisse was bedridden, unable to paint, he reinvented his art with gouache and cut-out papers, and created this immense masterpiece, almost 3m by 4m, 292 x 386 cm. Begun in early 1952, when the Chapelle du Rosaire was finally completed, "La Tristesse du Roi" was the first cut-out gouache to enter the French public collections during Matisse's lifetime.


Richard Lindner, "Rock-rock", 1966, a less starry but more inventive American pop.


For my guitar series, the morning coffee with Peter Sellers.
Tomorrow we hope he'll play the harmonica!
In almost every one of his films there is a scene with a guitar.


Manitas de Plata was a star, a talent and a charm and what a musician! I remember if he was near Nice and when Miró was in Saint-Paul, he never failed to come home to see him. A historic photo, here he is with his musicians, in Vevey, surrounding Charlie Chaplin who is singing at the top of his voice.


Henri Matisse, in Nice, with "La Tristesse du Roi" in 1952.
This work inaugurates the large gouache cut-out decorations with figures. Matisse designed a huge wall panel inspired by the biblical theme of King David - Salome dancing before Herod - which has been treated extensively in the history of painting, and which he described as follows: "The sad King, a charming dancer and a figure strumming a kind of guitar from which a flight of gold-coloured flying saucers escaped, circling the upper part of the composition to end up en masse around the dancer in action."
Presented at the Salon de Mai in 1952, just after its acquisition by the State, the panel was unanimously acclaimed by the critics: "Matisse's great collage, even more extraordinary than his Jazz (it is the same style), with its curved rhythm on a horizontal background, is the highlight of the Salon; better still: a masterpiece; it is rare to encounter more breadth and fullness; a lesson for all." In: L'Art d'aujourd'hui, June 1952.