"Helios V" 1948, color lithograph, full margins, 20 1/4" x 16 1/4"; 510x420mm. Signed and numbered in black crayon, lower right. Arches watermark. Printed by Mourlot, Paris. Published by Kahnweiler, Paris. A very good impression with vibrant colors [Vallier 40].
When George Braque returned to lithography in 1945, he rejected the accuracy of the 19th century, shifting lithography to the side of painting. His lithographic stroke is deliberately thickened and massive; sufficiently thick that even black will have the impact of color. It is a painted stroke, modeled on the principles not of drawing but painting. One must keep this fact in mind for a correct understanding of Braque's lithographs.
In Braque's graphic work, everything is simplified in that the relationship between chance and control is straightforward and the border is for him the element of greatest control. Surprising apparitions, looking like scribbles at first encounter, take on meaning once one has grasped their purpose, which is to counterbalance the rigidity of the border.
Double borders, triple borders, round ones, rectangular ones continuously return in Braque's graphic works (e.g., Braque used borders in his independent graphic works, but never in those destined for book illustrations). Braque studied the close relationship between the border and the central motif and background. His preparatory states show the constant reworking of the borders which depend entirely upon color. To sustain the intensity of the blue comprising the background of "Helios V" (the result of four runs of blue), Mourlot explains that a very strong border was necessary. So in "Helios V" Braque ended up using a triple border: first the central motif is located against a background (most often rounded, sometimes oval), itself surrounded by a complementary background; this whole is then set within the proper border confining the image.
"Helios V" is in dark silver stacked Larson-Juhl "Zen" 36" x 31 1/2" slightly hammered finish frames. The outer talc 6-ply Alphamat and inner watchet blue linen over raised 8-ply rag mats are acid and lignin free and protected with Acrylite-AR OP3 (UV) by CYRO .......... SOLD