Birds are of great importance in Braque’s pictorial world. During a trip to Southern France, he succumbed to the charm of countless birds looking for food in those marshy waters. As he admitted: “Birds have inspired me […] I have to bury in my memory their natural functions as birds. This concept […] which has brought them to life in my mind, must be deleted, so that I can draw closer to my essential preoccupation: the construction of pictorial fact”. In 1952, when he received the official order to decorate the ceiling of a room at the Louvre, it seemed normal that he opted for two black birds with white outlines, joining together in full flight, as a subject.
In the present work, the flight of the white bird merges into an eternal embrace with another winged figure, above a sea hardly distinguished between the waves. The grace, delicacy and simplicity emerging from this composition cannot leave the viewer indifferent. Besides, who hasn’t indulged in a reverie before this enviable ability of the creatures of the air to fly?
The work Boréade, presented here, was carried out by Braque as lithograph, jewellery box and plate in relief.