Patrick Henry Bruce

Patrick Henry Bruce

American, 1881–1936
Painting (Still Life)
c. 1919, oil and pencil on canvas, 59.7 x 93.7 cm (23 1/2 x 36 7/8 in.)

Living in Paris from 1904 to 1936, Bruce associated with the French avant-garde. He was close to Henri Matisse and in 1908 became a founding member of Matisse’s art academy in Paris. Like the French painter, Bruce afforded color an essential role in his art, but he was also drawn to the still-life paintings of Paul Cézanne, which reduce natural forms to their underlying geometric structure. In this painting we detect a pair of cylindrical glasses and stacked rounds of cheese on a skewed tabletop. Some of the forms may represent pieces of wood from antique furniture that Bruce, who was also an antiques dealer, would have possessed.