The Studios

For the elderly, ailing Braque, these were years of international recognition and acclaim. Despite his poor health, he began a new series at his Varengeville workshop on a classic theme: the artist’s studio. The private, closed setting of the studio represents the artist’s mental space, and the objects, both real and metaphorical, reveal the universe that Braque had developed over the years and herald the appearance of a theme that would dominate his twilight years: birds, a theme that was sparked by a commission Braque received in 1955 to decorate the ceiling of the Etruscan gallery at the Louvre, on which he depicted giant blue birds. The paintings shown here underscore the importance of this iconic, archetypal theme in Braque’s late works, but they also attest to the vitality of an artist who remained open to new ideas to the very end of his life. Initially treated figuratively and texturally, the birds became increasingly abstract