With Georges Braque, which artistic movement is Pablo Picasso the founder?

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Cubism is a major artistic revolution of the early 20th century, characterized by a radical break with traditional perspective. It was a movement that challenged the way objects were represented in art, breaking them down into geometric shapes and reassembling them on canvas to show several views simultaneously. This innovative approach broadened the notion of perspective, enabling artists to transgress classical three-dimensionality and explore four-dimensional space.

Cubism is characterized by the use of angular forms, the fragmentation of the object, the overcoming of conventions of light and shadow and the integration of letters and motifs, adding a literal dimension to their works. Colors are often reduced to a neutral spectrum, further accentuating structure and form.

Cubism was created by Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque, who worked so synchronously that it’s often difficult to distinguish their works from this period. Both artists were dissatisfied with the limitations of traditional perspective, which showed only one point of view at a time. Inspired by earlier work on abstraction and by influences from outside the West, notably African and children’s art, they sought to express volume, space and form in a totally new way.

The creation of Cubism took place in a rich historical and cultural context, marked by the social upheavals and technological advances of the early 20th century, such as the invention of photography and the emergence of the theory of relativity. These developments challenged traditional perceptions of time and space, profoundly influencing Picasso and Braque in their quest to capture the complexity of the world through their art.

The development of Cubism can be divided into three main phases, each bringing a new dimension to the interpretation of reality in art.

  • Analytical cubism: This first phase is marked by an in-depth analysis of form. Objects are broken down into geometric fragments and superimposed or juxtaposed so that several aspects can be seen simultaneously. The color palette is restrained, often limited to ochres, grays and pale blues, so as not to distract attention from the complex interplay of forms.
  • Synthetic cubism: A reaction to analytic cubism, this phase is characterized by freer construction and the introduction of brighter colors. Instead of fragmenting objects, artists began to synthesize them, using simplified forms and visual cues that evoked the object rather than representing it realistically. The use of materials such as wallpaper, newspapers or packaging in collages introduces an element of everyday reality into the works.
  • Heroic Cubism: A less commonly used term, sometimes referring to the more monumental, dynamic works of early Cubism, before the movement split into its analytical and synthetic components. It can also refer to the period when Cubism had great influence and was considered avant-garde and revolutionary.

These three types of Cubism differ not only in their method of image construction, but also in their conceptual approach to the representation of reality, showing the movement’s evolution from analytical rigor to synthetic freedom.

Cubism evolved organically, moving from rigorous analytical decomposition to a form of construction in which freedom of interpretation became paramount. In the transition from analytical to synthetic cubism, self-imposed rules were relaxed and artists began to incorporate color and varied textures, and to play with notions of space and composition in a more liberated way.

The influence of other artists such as Juan Gris, Fernand Léger and even Marcel Duchamp was essential in bringing new perspectives and techniques to Cubism, contributing to its diversification. These artists, although influenced by Picasso and Braque, brought their own sensibility and explored different avenues, thus enriching the movement.

What’s more, Cubism also had an impact on other artistic movements, inspiring genres such as Futurism, Constructivism and Purism, demonstrating its central role in the development of modern art. The spread of Cubism across Europe and its influence in fields as diverse as literature, music and design testify to its historical importance and universally inspiring character.

A revolutionary artistic movement of the early 20th century, Cubism owes its birth and development to a number of pioneering artists, the most emblematic of whom are Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Juan Gris and Fernand Léger.

  • Pablo Picasso: One of the co-founders of Cubism, Picasso is renowned for his ability to radically rethink the form and structure of objects in space. His paintings, such as The Young Ladies of Avignon and Guernica, while not strictly cubist, revolutionized painting.
  • Georges Braque: Working in tandem with Picasso, Braque contributed to the development of analytical and synthetic cubism. His works are characterized by a refined use of color and perspective. It was with paintings like Houses at Estaque that Braque firmly established his reputation in the movement.
  • Juan Gris: A Spanish artist, Gris brought clarity and harmony to synthetic Cubism with his carefully constructed compositions. The Breakfast perfectly illustrates his method of synthesizing objects and space.
  • Fernand Léger: Although associated with Cubism, Léger developed a unique style, with an interest in cylindrical forms, giving rise to what has been called tubism. His works explore mechanization and modernity, as seen in Soldiers playing cards.

Each of these artists contributed to Cubism by experimenting with and pushing back the boundaries of artistic representation, breaking down and reconstructing reality to capture it from new angles.

Cubism is punctuated by works that have left their mark on art history. These include

  • The Young Ladies of Avignon by Picasso: With this painting, Picasso broke with convention and laid the foundations of Cubism. The deformation of bodies and fragmentation of space make this painting a revolutionary work.
  • Georges Braque’s Violin and Palette: In this analytical work, Braque dissects the shape of a violin in a fragmented space, pushing back the limits of traditional perspective representation.
  • Lobster and Cat by Juan Gris: Gris uses collage to create synthetic images, in which everyday objects are reconstructed with harmonious simplicity, inviting a new reading of the artistic object.
  • Fernand Léger’s The City: This painting embodies the transition from cubism to a more abstract, mechanical aesthetic, reflecting Léger’s interest in modern life and urbanism.

Analysis of these works reveals how Cubism revolutionized artistic representation, offering a new visual language that would profoundly influence all modern art.

Cubism paved the way for a multitude of technical and conceptual innovations in the art world. Technically, it introduced the fragmentation of object and space, enabling artists to represent several views of the same subject simultaneously. Conceptually, it challenged traditional linear perspective, offering a more dynamic and complex representation of reality.

In terms of its impact on contemporary art, cubism was a precursor of abstraction, influencing movements such as futurism, constructivism and even modern design. It also paved the way for the use of non-traditional materials, such as collage and mixed media, techniques that have become commonplace in contemporary art.

Cubism radically changed the way viewers perceive art. By breaking objects down into geometric shapes and representing multiple perspectives simultaneously, Cubism challenged the faithful imitation of nature. This transformation encouraged viewers to see art as an exploration of form and composition, rather than as a simple reproduction of reality.

The first reactions to Cubism were generally confusion and dismay. Viewers at the time were accustomed to naturalistic art and found Cubist canvases confusing, even provocative. Over time, however, Cubism’s innovative vision was accepted and even celebrated, as audiences and critics began to appreciate its contribution to the evolution of modern art.

Today, the influence of Cubism is still very much present in modern and contemporary art. Artists such as David Hockney and George Condo have borrowed the fragmented representation and multiplicity of perspectives that characterize Cubism in their work. The principles of Cubism can also be found in graphic design, architecture and even fashion, proving that the legacy of Cubism continues to stimulate creativity in a variety of disciplines.



With Georges Braque, which artistic movement is Pablo Picasso the founder?


Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso are the two founding artists of Cubism, an artistic movement that had a major influence on 20th century art.