From 1912 onward he became one of Cubism’s most important figures. In 1913, in Céret he experimented with the technique of papier collé, which became one of his most important contributions to the movement. Since that very year the still life became a recurrent motif in his work.
This drawing—which reproduces the same composition of a homonymous oil painting belonging to the collection at the Kunstmuseum in Basel—is an example of how Gris renewed baroque still lives with the Cubist language. The newspaper speaks of the fleetingness of time, as do the skulls of old vanitas paintings. The guitar and the book refer to emotion and thought. Gris also portrayed a bottle, introducing the notions of bohemia and evasion.
The abstract and figurative lines establish a dialogue; the refined and universal objects fit among each other in a balanced and dynamic composition. Through Cubist abstraction the artist presents a sublimated reality endowed with spiritual beauty.