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Braque’s interest in collecting musical instruments is reflected in this painting of a small lute called a mandora. Its fragmented style suggests a sense of rhythm and acoustic reverberation that matches the musical subject. Braque explained that he liked to include instruments in his cubist works, ‘in the first place because I was surrounded by them, and secondly because their plasticity, their volumes, related to my particular concept of still life’.

May 2012