Gris, Juan (1887-1927) - 1912 Self-Portrait (Private Collection)
José Victoriano González-Pérez , better known as Juan Gris, was a Spanish painter and sculptor who lived and worked in France most of his life. His works are closely connected to the emergence of Cubism.
In 1906 he moved to Paris and became friends with Henri Matisse, Georges Braque, Fernand Léger, and in 1915 he was painted by Amedeo Modigliani. In Paris, Gris followed the lead of another friend and fellow countryman, Pablo Picasso.
Gris began to paint seriously in 1910, and by 1912 he had developed a personal Cubist style. His portrait of Picasso in 1912 is a significant early Cubist painting done by a painter other than Picasso or Braque. Although he regarded Picasso as a teacher, Gertrude Stein acknowledged that Gris "was the one person that Picasso would have willingly wiped off the map."
At first Gris painted in the analytic style of Cubism, but after 1913 he began his conversion to synthetic Cubism, of which he became a steadfast interpreter. Unlike Picasso and Braque, whose Cubist works were monochromatic, Gris painted with bright harmonious colors in daring, novel combinations in the manner of his friend Matisse.