• Georges Braque, The Round Table, 1929, oil, sand, and charcoal on canvas, 57 3/8 x 44 3/4". © Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris.

    “Georges Braque and the Cubist Still Life, 1928–1945”

    Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum

    “Defeat is certain” was the admonishment given by Jean Paulhan, the former editor of La Nouvelle Revue Française and a stalwart of the French Resistance, to Claude Roy, a young poet who came seeking encouragement during one of the darker hours of the German occupation. In no mood to console, Paulhan instead steered his visitor before a small painting hung on the wall, Georges Braque’s Kitchen Table with Grill, 1942–43, a still life depicting a single cooked fish on a plate, accompanied by an iron griddle and a jug of wine.

    One can imagine the bewilderment Roy must have felt during this strange

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