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The Port of AntwerpEnlarge image

The Port of Antwerp, 1906

Georges Braque
French, 1882 - 1963
oil on canvas
49.8 x 61.2 cm
Purchased 1951
National Gallery of Canada (no. 5782)
© Estate of George Braque / SODRAC (2013)

Georges Braque worked in several distinct styles during his career; "The Port of Antwerp" is characteristic of his Fauve period. In 1906 Braque visited Antwerp, and painted this Belgian port scene from his hotel window. All the elements of this view are characteristic of the Fauve style, from the abbreviated brushwork to the chromatic sky, water, boats, and balcony railing. Braque soon abandoned this bright and colourful palette to join Picasso in exploring the muted tones and fractured volumes of Cubism.

Provenance 

1907/09 –
Wilhelm Uhde (1874–1947), Paris, France (?)[1]

by 1913 –
Daniel Henry Kahnweiler (1884–1979), Paris, France (?) [2]

by 1951
E.J. Van Wisselingh & Co., Amsterdam, The Netherlands [3]

1951 –
National Gallery of Canada, purchased from E.J. Van Wisselingh & Co. [4]

Notes 

[1] Braque exhibited six paintings at the 'Salon des Indépendants' in Paris in September 1907, one of them named Le Port [Monneret, Jean. "Catalogue raisonné du Salon des Indépendants 1884–2000, Les indépendents dans l'histoire de l'art", Paris: Grand-Palais des Champs-Élysées, 2000, p.156, no. 723]. According to Alex Danchev's Braque biography, a painting titled The Port of Antwerp and four other paintings were purchased by Wilhelm Uhde, one by his friend, Parisian art dealer Daniel Henry Kahnweiler [Danchev, Alex. “Georges Braque: A Life.” New York: Arcade Publishing, 2005, p. 42 and footnotes no. 70 and 71].

[2] Kahnweiler lent a painting by Braque, titled Anvers and dated 1906, to and exhibition curated by Foger Fry at the Grafton Galleries, London [“Second Post-Impressionist exhibition” Oct.5-Dec.31 1912, cat. no 113]. From there it was shipped to New York to be included in the 1913 Armory Show [Walt Kuhn, Armory Show Records, European Entry Cards, 1912, Box 1, Folder 77; Insurers, Packers, and Shippers Correspondence, 1912-1913, Box 1 Folder 32, Chenue letter from J. Chenue to Walter Pach, dated Dec.30.1912, Archives of American Art, Washington, D.C.]. Since Braque painted several views of the port of Antwerp in 1906, it is unclear if the one exhibited in London and New York is the NGC's painting.

[3] In March 1951, the painting was included in a sales exhibition at Watson Art Galleries, Montreal, Canada, as part of the collection of Peter Eilers of E.J. Van Wisselingh & Co., Amsterdam, The Netherlands [“French Paintings of the 19th and 20th Centuries.” Watson Art Galleries, Montreal, until March 17, 1951, no.7].

[4] Accession log [NGC curatorial file]

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