Galerie Adrien Maeght, Paris
Andros, Museum of Contemporary Art-Basil and Elise Goulandris Foundation, Glancing at the Century, 28 June – 20 September 1998, pp. 60-61, ill. p. 61
Georges Braque, “Derniers Messages,” Derrière le Miroir, issue 166, Paris, Adrien Maeght, 1967, ill. p. 2
Miguel Orozco, The Complete Prints of Georges Braque, Catalogue raisonné, academia.edu, 25 September 2018, no. LO903, ill. p. 479 (another impression illustrated)
Birds are of great importance in Braque’s pictorial space. In 1952, when he received the official order to decorate the ceiling of a room at the Louvre, it seems normal that he opted for two black birds with white outlines, joining together in full flight, as a subject. At the end of the 1950s, and especially during that unforgettable trip to the Camargue in Southern France, he succumbed to the charm of numerous birds coming to quench their thirst in those marshy waters. As he admitted: “Birds have inspired me […] I have to burry 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”.
The number of engravings, dedicated to birds in particular, is impressing. Two birds against a blue background are reminiscent of those at the Louvre: they were following a wedding dance, when time froze at the moment they tried to join together. The grace, delicacy and simplicity emerging from these compositions cannot leave the viewer indifferent. Besides, who of us does not have indulged in a reverie at some time, before this enviable ability of the creatures of the air to fly?