Often seen as a minor accessory in a larger painting, few artists have thought fish worthy of depiction in their own right. In this piece, Braque (Argenteuil-sur-Seine, 1882- Paris, 1963) finds a way to expertly animate not the fish themselves, but the idea of fish. That is, he has given life to fish as the object that we buy in the store and put on our plates. How does one set about such a task? Focusing on the negative space surrounding the fish, and using that as a means to delineate the fish themselves Braque demands our attention to the almost geometrical outline of the subject. His expert use of monotones, placing darks directly next to lights, and allowing the medium browns to mediate the tension between the two further enhances the excitement of the piece. Braque's spontaneity in his handling of the fish combines with his exacting and deliberate use of a small range of colors to create an alarming if not charming composition.
Created c. 1956, this color etching is hand signed by Georges Braque (Argenteuil-sur-Seine, 1882- Paris, 1963) in pencil in the lower right margin and numbered from the edition of 300 in pencil in the lower left margin. This work was published by Maeght, Paris and printed on BFK Rives Block watermarked paper.