Pierrot by Juan Gris (1887-1927)
115 x 73 cm
Oil on canvas
Bequeathed, Máire MacNeill Sweeney, 1987
Juan Gris moved to Paris in 1906. Inspired by Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque, he became a Cubist. Like many avant-garde artists, Gris was drawn to the figure of the Pierrot. This melancholy clown came to embody the idea of the artist as outsider. In this painting, Gris presents the Pierrot by a café-table. Resting on the table are musical instruments, a newspaper, and a glass, which is similar in shape to the Pierrot’s masked face. The sombre planes of colour give the composition a collage-like appearance.