Returning now to our Walks of Art inside Tate Modern we take a wander into the States of Flux wing to have a look at a painting entitled Clarinet and Bottle of Rum on a Mantlepiece.
This was painted in 1911 by the painter Georges Braque, who together with his great friend and ally Pablo Picasso was a pioneer of the early 20th century art movement that became known as cubism.
At first glance Clarinet and Bottle of Rum on a Mantlepiece appears to be little more than a jumbled series of distorted shapes and lines. Indeed, at first glance your mind might struggle to make sense of what exactly it is that you are looking at.
Where is the clarinet?
Where is the bottle of rum?
Where is the mantlepiece.
Well the one thing we stress over and over again on our London walks is the need to really look at things. Look at as opposed to see things.
So let’s start by looking for the bottle of rum in the painting. If you look at the top centre of the painting you can make out two, black vertical lines across the top of which has been laid a horizontal black line. This is the neck of the bottle.
In fact the bottle is made easy to discern by several visual clues.
Firstly, just beneath the neck of the bottle are the letters PARL, which could be a make or a brand of Rum.
Further down underneath that are the letters RH and the start of the letter U, the first three letters of the French word for rum.
So from the jumbled mass of shapes and lines we have managed to distinguish the shape of the bottle.
We’ll look for the clarinet in our next blog. In the meantime why not have a look at some of the Dickens Walks or Shakespeare London walks that take in the exciting and vibrant area where Tate Modern is located?
Incidentally, for copyright reasons we cannot reproduce the artworks on our London, Walk of Art blogs. But do a google image search for Tate Modern and you will be able to see these works.