This painting shown in 1943 at the Salon d'Automne, is rife with symbolism.
A woman with an anguished mien appears to be seeking an answer in the cards.
It is at once a message of hope it seems to encourage "patience in
times of trouble" and a card game by the same name, patience being another
name for solitaire.
(Picture & text from José Maria Faerna, Braque,
Cameo/Abrams, NY, 1997, p. 47)
In 1943, Jean Paulhan, an art critic and friend of Braque's wrote a series of
articles in Poésie later published in a book
Braque, le patron, where Braque mentions the work in progress in his
Montparnasse studio: Everything depends on the point where things meet:
my desire and the delusion. When I really become impregnated with the subject,
the canvas always surprises me. I've been preoccupied with that for ten years.
That is an anxious young woman with long arms, telling her fortune with cards
in a crowded room where the checkerboard, the sherry bottle and the hanging
lamp zigzag. Satisfied? Well, I didn't expect anything when I started it.
But some elements will remain. It will not be useless.
(Braque, Poésie 43, March-April 1943;
in Jean Paulhan, Braque, le patron,
Trois Collines, Geneva & Paris, 1946,
translation by Chantal Combes.)