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Braque's unique aesthetic is, "Unequalled in its technical integrity and animated by an interior, invisible, poetic force" (Koutsomallis, 11). The birds in this intimate work express Braque's understated visual eloquence. Returning to this figure repeatedly, Braque consistently uncovers new aspects for exploration. This pair of birds in full flight, created near the end of his career, contains a life's worth of study. With their great ballooning wings and abbreviated, calligraphic forms, they embody a sense of freedom. With unreserved exuberance, they take to the sky; the direction of their flight remains ambiguous, left open to the viewer's interpretation. This work is all the more powerful for its small scale, which requires close viewing.
Created in 1960, this original color lithograph on chine appliqué is one of eight lithographs conceived by the artist for Le tir à l'arc, published by Louis Broder, Paris. Two wood engravings were also included in this celebrated volume. Hand-signed by Georges Braque (Argenteuil-sur-Seine, 1882- Paris, 1963) in pencil in the lower right margin, this work is annotated 'H.C.' (hors commerce) in pencil in the lower left margin. Originally included on page 53 of the volume, this work is one of a number of artist's proofs existing aside from the numbered edition of 130.