José Victoriano better known as Juan Gris, was a Spanish painter born in Madrid who lived and worked in France for most of his active period. Closely connected to the innovative artistic genre Cubism, his works are among the movement’s most distinctive.
(Carmelo Carlos) González-Pérez (23 March 1887 – 11 May 1927), (Spanish: [ˈxwan ˈɡɾis]; French: [gʀi])
Gris was born in Madrid and later studied engineering at the Madrid School of Arts and Sciences. There, from 1902 to 1904, he contributed drawings to local periodicals. From 1904 to 1905, he studied painting with the academic artist José Moreno Carbonero. It was in 1905 that José Victoriano González adopted the more distinctive name Juan Gris.
In 1909, Lucie Belin (1891–1942)—Gris’ wife—gave birth to Georges Gonzalez-Gris (1909–2003), the artist’s only child. The three lived at the Bateau-Lavoir, 13 Rue Ravignan, Paris, from 1909 to 1911. In 1912 Gris met Charlotte Augusta Fernande Herpin (1894–1983), also known as Josette. Late 1913 or early 1914 they lived together at the Bateau-Lavoir until 1922. Josette Gris was Juan Gris’ second companion and unofficial wife.
In 1906, he moved to Paris and became friends with the poets Guillaume Apollinaire, Max Jacob, and artists Henri Matisse, Georges Braque, Fernand Léger and Jean Metzinger. He submitted darkly humorous illustrations to journals such as the anarchist satirical magazine L’Assiette au Beurre, and also Le Rire, Le Charivari, and Le Cri de Paris. In Paris, Gris followed the lead of Metzinger and another friend and fellow countryman, Pablo Picasso.
Gris began to paint seriously in 1911 (when he gave up working as a satirical cartoonist), developing at this time a personal Cubist style. In A Life of Picasso, John Richardson writes that Jean Metzinger’s 1911 work, Le goûter (Tea Time), persuaded Juan Gris of the importance of mathematics in painting. Gris exhibited for the first time at the 1912 Salon des Indépendants (a painting entitled Hommage à Pablo Picasso).