Still Life with Musical Instruments
Georges Braque (French, 1882-1963)
On View

Into a carefully delineated octagon, Braque’s composition crowds a sheet of music, a wind instrument, a glass, a cluster of grapes, and other less immediately recognizable objects. Varied textures—visible brushstrokes, brisk polka dots, a wave pattern scraped through the wet paint with a comb—call attention to the picture’s surface and create an effect reminiscent of collage. Having suspended his painting practice to serve in the French military from 1914 to 1917, Braque returned to Cubism with a new tactile vigor after the First World War. Musical instruments played a key role in his interwar pictures, for, as he would point out, “as an object, the musical instrument had the particular attraction of being animated by touch.” This painting’s first owner was a key member of the Parisian musical and theatrical scene: Léonide Massine, a dancer and choreographer for the Ballets Russes.


  • Artist Name: Georges Braque (French, 1882-1963)
  • Title: Still Life with Musical Instruments
  • Date: 1918
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions: 25-1/2 x 36-1/4 in. (64.8 x 92.1 cm)
  • Credit Line: Norton Simon Art Foundation
  • Accession Number: M.1986.2.P
  • Copyright: © 2014 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris Reproduction, including downloading of ARS works is prohibited by copyright laws and international conventions without the express written permission of Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Object Information

[Léonce Rosenberg, Paris].
[Howard Putzel (d. 1945), Hollywood (1935-1938), Paris (before August 1938-summer 1940), and New York (1940-1945)] .
Léonide Massine (1896-1979), Paris (with tours of U.S. West Coast,1935-1938), New York (1939-1946) and London, by at least October 1935; sold 1964 to;
[E.V. Thaw & Co., New York, sold 1964, as La Musique, to];
The Norton Simon Foundation, sold 1986 to;
Norton Simon Art Foundation.

"L' Effort Moderne," Braque

  • Galerie Leonce Rosenberg, 1918-03-05 to 1918-03-31

[on loan]

  • Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1964-08-04 to 1970-12-14

The Cubist Epoch

  • Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1970-12-15 to 1971-02-21
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1971-04-07 to 1971-06-07

[on loan]

  • Princeton University Art Museum, 1971-06 to 1972-08

Forty-eight Paintings and Sculptures from the Norton Simon Foundation and the Norton Simon Inc. Museum

  • Houston, Museum of Fine Arts, 1972-10 to 1974-10-08

[on loan]

  • High Museum of Art, 1980-11-20 to 1981-08-05

French Paintings: Collection of Leonide Massine

  • New York, Marie Harriman Gallery, 1935-02-18 to 1935-03-09

The Collection of Leonide Massine

  • New York, Saidenberg Gallery, 1959-04-14 to 1959-05-16

Masterpieces of Five Centuries, Forty-Eight Paintings and Sculptures from the Norton Simon Foundation and the Norton Simon, Inc. Museum

  • Houston, Museum of Fine Arts, 1972-10-04 to 1973-11-04

Reinstallation of South Wing

  • Norton Simon Museum, 1993-10-07 to 1995-08-13
  • Isarlov, George, Georges Braque, no. 233
  • Georges Braque, p. 37
  • Cooper, Douglas, The Cubist Epoch, no. 35, pl. 263, as Still Life with Musical Instruments pp. 219, 278
  • Raynal, Maurice, George Braque, 1921, coll.: Léonce Rosenberg
  • Bulletin de "L'effort Moderne", 1926, as Nature-Morte
  • Saidenberg Gallery, French Paintings: Collection of Leonide Massine, 1959, no. 3, as Music
  • Bissière, R., Georges Braque, 1963, pl. 11, as Nature morte
  • Valsecchi, M; and M. Carra, L'Opera completa di Braque dalla compisizione cubista al recupero dell'oggetto 1908-1929, 1971, no. 159 pp. 93-94
  • Mangin, Nicole S., Catalogue de l'oeuvre de Georges Braque: Peintures 1916-1923, 1973, as Nature morte a la partition pp. 23-24
  • Yaegashi, Cubism, 1979,
  • Norton Simon Museum, Selected Paintings at the Norton Simon Museum, 1980, p. 132
  • Masterpieces from the Norton Simon Museum, 1989, p. 187
  • European Painting and Sculpture, ca. 1770-1937, 1991, fig. 1 pp. 203-206
  • Campbell, Sara, Collector Without Walls: Norton Simon and His Hunt for the Best, 2010, cat. 232 p. 273
Audio Tour
English | Español
Audio Tour Transcript
English | Español
English | Español
Transcripción de Audioguía
English | Español

Additional Artwork by Artist

Artist and Model Georges Braque 1939
Pitcher, Score, Fruits and Napkin Georges Braque 1926

Image reproduction permission may be granted for scholarly or arts related commercial use. All image requests, regardless of their intended purpose, should be submitted via the reproduction request form.

Images may be protected by copyright and other intellectual property rights. Additional permission may be required.

Approved requests for the reproduction of an image will receive a contract detailing all fees and conditions of use of the image. Upon receipt of both the signed contract and full payment, the Office of Rights and Reproductions will provide the image. A complimentary copy of the published material must be provided to the Norton Simon Museum.

Reproduction Request Form