Couple d’ oiseaux, 1963
[Pair of Birds]
Lithograph printed in three colors
7-7/8 in. x 7-1/2 in.
Frame: 19 in. x 17 in.
In the summer of 1955 Braque visited the bird sanctuary in Camargue where the saline marshes in the delta of the Rhine provide rich plant food for exotic birds; this stimulated his imagination for birds or at least confirmed his fascination for them.
Throughout his life, Braque produced numerous prints, mastering the techniques of etching, lithography, aquatint and woodcut. Unlike etching however, which relies more on the technique of drawing, lithography leans more toward painting allowing the artist to use color in his compositions.
The flying bird appears repeatedly in his work and symbolizes his strong interest in space, not just the physical presence of the bird as an object. In 1963 he collaborated with the French poet René Char to illustrate a series of poems titled Lettera Amorosa in which he produced no fewer than seven lithographs focused on the bird to interpret the lines of the poet.