Occupation: Painting, sculptor, collagist
Movement: Fauvism, Cubism
Education: Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Le Havre, and Academie Humbert, Paris
“Landscape in L'estaque,” 1906
“The Castle of La Roche-Guyon,” 1909
“The Clarinet,” 1912
“The Bowl of Grapes,” 1926
“Still Life with Red Tablecloth,” 1934
“The Gueridon,” 1935
“Black Fish,” 1942
Georges Braque was a French painter, who along with Pablo Picasso invented Cubism, a style of painting in which parts of an object is rendered as geometrical forms. Before that he had also experimented with art movements like Impressionism and Fauvism. He was the inventor of a kind of collage called papier colle or glued paper.
Braque was born in Argenteuil and grew up in Le Havre where he trained as a house painter like his father. In the evenings he was also training in artistic painting at Ecole des Beaux-Arts for two years between 1897 and 1899. In 1903, he joined Academie Humbert in Paris.
In the beginning Braque was influenced by Impressionism but after seeing a show by Fauves, which literally means beasts, he moved to Fauvist style of painting. Stalwarts such as Henri Matisse and Andre Derain were the front runners of Fauvism that stressed on colours rather than representation. He exhibited his paintings made in this style in Salon des Independants in 1907. The same year, he saw a retrospective by Paul Cezanne, in whose works different points of view of looking at the same thing were incorporated. This highly influenced him and was instrumental in bringing about Cubism.
In 1908, Braque submitted some works to the Salon d’Automne painted in a style that was a break from the methods of Fauvism. He had painted trees and buildings from an unconventional inside-out perspective and their parts were rendered as sculptural forms. Henri Matisse, who was part of the jury for the show, disparaged the pictures and said that they were made of “little cubes.” In 1907, Picasso made a painting called “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon” in which he painted five women whose bodies looked like geometrical abstractions. Braque and Picasso formed a team and started meeting daily to discuss their work. They did not finish a canvas until it was approved by the other. In 1911, they painted together at Ceret, France and their paintings of the time are indistinguishable. Their association resulted in Cubism, which went through three stages during their association together: the early Cubist stage, the second stage of complex analytic Cubism and finally the decorative stage of synthetic Cubism.
Braque was fascinated by objects rather than figures that rarely appeared in his paintings of the time. Braque started using sand and sawdust in his paintings to give texture to the surface. He also pasted newspaper cut outs and wallpaper on to his drawing, which resulted in papier colle.
Picasso and Braque continued working until the break of World War I, when Braque enlisted with the French Army. In 1915, he suffered a head injury which caused temporary blindness. He restarted painting in 1916 and his later work show the dilution of the Cubist geometrical abstraction and an appearance of figures in his landscape paintings. He painted Normandy landscapes and still life objects during this time. He continued to paint and then sculpt throughout his life. Braque did not get widespread fame during his lifetime but he was the first artist who was commissioned by the Louvre to paint the ceilings of the Etruscan galleries. In 1962 he collaborated with printmaker Aldo Crommelynck in a series called “L’Ordre des Oiseaux” (The Order Of Birds). He died in 1963 and was accorded a state funeral.
1882 - Born in Argenteuil, France
1897 - Joins Ecole des Beaux-Arts
1901 - Apprentices under a master decorator and receives a craftsman certificate in Paris
1902 - Joins Academie Humbert and paints there for two years
1907 - Shows his Fauve works in the Salon des Independants in Paris
1908 - He shows at his first solo show at Daniel Kahnweiler's gallery
1909 - Develops Cubism along with Pablo Picasso
1912 - Invents the papier colle technique
1914 - Joins French Army during World War I and is wounded
1922 - Has a show at the Salon d’Automne in Paris
1933 - Has his first retrospective at Kunsthalle Basel
1937 - Wins the first prize at Carnegie International
1963 - Dies in Paris
1907 - Salon des Independants, Paris
1908 - Daniel Kahnweiler's gallery
1922 - Salon d’Automne, Paris
1933 - Kunsthalle Basel
1961 - Louvre, Paris
1989 - Museum of Modern Art, New York
2011 - Acquavella Galleries, New York
2013 - Kemper Art Museum, St. Louis
2014 - The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
Louvre Museum, Paris
Dallas Museum of Art, Texas
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Tate Modern, London
The Art Institute of Chicago
Guggenheim Museum, New York City
National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.
Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh
San Francisco Gallery of Modern Art
Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice
“Georges Braque: A Life” by Alex Danchev
“Georges Braque and the Cubist Still Life, 1928-1945” by Karen K Butler and Renee Maurer
“A Life of Picasso (In Six Volumes)” by John Richardson
“Braque: The Late Works” by John Golding
“Georges Braque” by Jean Leymarie and Georges Braque
“Georges Braque: His Graphic Work” by Werner Hofmann
“Braque: The Great Years” by Douglas Cooper