Still Life with a Bottle, Playing Cards, and a Wineglass on a Table
Pablo Ruiz y Picasso, Spanish, 1881 - 1973
This relatively small painting on sketch board is a masterpiece of restraint. The colors are sober, and their relationships are established by the dark brown paint of the background and the reddish-brown varnish of the flattened tabletop, whose wood-graining effect was created by dragging a comb through the wet paint. The still-life arrangement on the table consists of a darkly shadowed bottle on the left, whose drab color and sand-encrusted texture contrast with the cheerful gaiety of the fluted wineglass and the box of JOB cigarette rolling papers on the right, as well as the five brightly patterned playing cards that hover mysteriously above the table.