Paris, Autumn 1911
Oil on canvas
32 x 17 cm
The Art Institute of Chicago
"Picasso and Things," Cleveland Museum of Art:
"Picasso, working in tandem with Braque in 1911, increasingly thought of his works as still life objects in themselves. A canvas as small of this only slightly more than a foot high would be a particular pleasure to hold in our hands. Wine Glass seems an improvisation, but is probably a highly (if quickly) calculated work of art. Although the axis is moved far to the right on the canvas, that vertical stabilizing the work is a strong reminder of its equilibrium as well as the spine of its analysis. Picasso would, during the Cubist years, often choose to represent a single glass in the neutral surroundings of a cafe. Part of the appeal must have been to suggest its transparency and its luminosity without painting as illusionistically as he had more nearly done in The Blue Glass of 1903 (no. 2). On the whole, he had liked goblets with straight sides, but here he at least gives it a rotund bowl in the interior, although reinforced by rectangles behind.
"The shapes with which he suggests the glass do have a prismatic effect, giving that sense of transparency and refraction of light he must have desired. He was attracted by the curve of the glass's ellipse, which becomes a particularly brilliant segment of light to the right of the vertical, both parts poised at an angle as if they might but could not fly. The glass's base curves over itself in a snail like form that is repeated behind. Beyond the concentration of the spine, the painting becomes a drawing with diagrammatic strokes, vvhich summarily help place the glass in space."