Georges Braque

1882 in Argenteuil – 1963 Paris

Georges Braque’s early work: the approach to cubism

As a basis for his artistic career, Georges Braque trained as a decorative painter at the end of the 19th century, but during this time he pursued his passion at the École des Beaux-Arts and studied painting. In 1900 he moved to the art metropolis Paris, where he continued his studies and encountered various sources of inspiration and role models. At exhibitions at the Salon des Indépendants he met Henri Matisse and André Derai, who influenced him towards Fauvism, but Paul Cézanne’s works also fascinated Braque. He then increasingly moved away from Fauvism and oriented himself towards Cézanne’s colorful expressivity, the graduated tonal values and his sharp brushwork. In 1907 he finally met Pablo Picasso and became his most important artist friend. Picasso and Braque influenced each other and, in parallel, moved more and more towards geometric abstraction, dismantling people, landscapes or objects such as musical instruments, distorting their perspective and reassembling them – cubism was born. However, Braque increasingly turned away from this so-called analytical cubism in 1912 and concentrated on synthetic cubism, in particular on the technique of ‘paper collés’. He replaced image elements with imitation wood paper or newspaper clippings, thereby deconstructing the geometric images even more with collage-like elements. Since Braque was drafted into military service in 1914 and severely wounded a year later, he did not return to Paris until 1917, which put his artistic career on hold.

The bird motif as a central late theme by Georges Braque

With his experiences at the front of the Second World War, Braque turned increasingly to landscape painting as well as still life and its symbolism of transience from the 1920s onwards. Following on from this, the artist increasingly dealt with spatial design in his “studio pictures”. From the beginning of the 1950s, stylized birds as a symbol of freedom and transience became Braque’s most important motif, which he varied in countless works and prints. Braque remained true to himself and his painting style until his death in 1963, although before his death he once again devoted himself to a variety of media and created a ceiling painting for the Louvre, stained glass windows for the Saint-Valery church in Varengeville and, together with the jeweler Löwenstein, the famous ones Jewelery objects “Bijoux de Braque”.

Biography

Georges Braque – co-founder of Cubism and pioneer of modernism

The French painter, graphic artist and sculptor Georges Braque was born in 1882 and is still internationally known and celebrated today – not only for his still lifes, but especially for his avant-garde geometric works, with which he initiated Cubism and shaped it from the beginning. With the founding of this new style at the beginning of the 20th century, classical modernism was introduced and Braque, together with Picasso, revolutionized painting. He turned away from figuration and, with the help of geometric and abstract forms, gained an artistic freedom that would shape many subsequent movements.

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