By the time Juan Gris became known as a painter at the Salon des Indépendants in 1912, his work was fully Cubist and steeped in the intellectual reflection that would mark his entire oeuvre. A year later Guillaume Apollinaire devoted a section to him in Les Peintres cubists, defining him as “the man who has meditated on everything modern.”
The present small Still Life on paper repeats the same vertical, geometrical composition of other works by the artist dated 1913 and is directly related to a charcoal drawing made the same year, now in a private collection. Both compositions display several objects, some portrayed in a fairly realistic manner. Although it is not a papier collé , Chistopher Green believes that it is not a preparatory sketch for another work but an independent drawing in its own right, like many others Gris made in 1913.
The painting’s first owner, the dealer Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler , certified the drawing and its authorship was confirmed in 1976 by the historian Douglas Cooper and in 1993 by Georges González Gris .