In 1958, the exhibition “Georges Braque - Large Illustrated Albums” took place in Paris, in order to pay tribute to an unknown part of Braque’s work: his passion for poetry. His engagement in engraving, through the illustration of a text or a poem, helped him to abandon the solitude of his studio and also allowed him to discover other worlds apart from his own. Moreover, it was less physically demanding, something that was crucial for his fragile health.
Purple head, adorning the cover of the exhibition catalogue, symbolizes the quintessence of Braque’s painting alone: elegant, full of delicacy and frugality, of universal scope, which plays with figuration in order to better decompose it. The famous Greek profile, recurrent in his work since the 1930s, floats here on a purple cloud. The immaterial rendering of this head has a poetic dimension befitting so much the exhibition subject, thus making Braque the ideal translator of the emotions conveyed from text to painting.