With this small oval depiction of a glass of absinthe, a drink popular among artists at the time, Braque challenged the common notion of illusionistic space, which had dominated Western art since the Renaissance. Absinthe is prepared by pouring the brilliant green liquid over a sugar cube resting on a slotted spoon. The artist broke the glass into lines and planes that fade into one another in a flattened and compressed composition. The muted, monochromatic palette is characteristic of Braque’s Cubist paintings. He kept this canvas unframed in his studio for at least a year until he sent it to his dealer for sale.