Georges Braque (1882-1963)
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Born in Agenteuil-sur-Seine, France, Georges Braque would join Pablo Picasso as becoming the founders of Cubism. Braque originally started as a house painter, but moved to Paris in 1902 where he attended the Academie Humbert studying art. Braque had his first exhibition at the Salon des Independents in 1905. He initially painted in the style of the Fauves until 1907, and was infatuated with their bold colors and wild brush strokes.
By 1908, Braque had discovered Cezanne and it is said that this influence is what triggered the Cubist movement. From this time until 1913, Braque studied light and emulated Cezanne’s style. Braque met Picasso in 1909 and discovered that he too was working on simplified “cube” forms and light study.
The two artists continued to work together, trying new styles like collage until Braque was mobilized for World War I in 1914.
Wounded from the war, Braque returned to Paris in 1917, and continued working without Picasso. Braque continued painting for the rest of his life, and like Picasso, started focusing more on the human form as opposed to landscape. During his lifetime he also worked in prints and sculpture, as well as engraving, typography and wood graining. In the 1920s, Braque’s style touched on Classical, but he still retained his Cubist and Fauve styles. By the 1950s, Braque’s health had deteriorated and his work began to slow down. At this time, he was making prints more in the style of his earlier Fauve work.
Though he worked directly alongside Picasso, there is no mistaking their work. While they were both the first to paint in the style of Cubism (Analytical and Synthetic), their works are distinctly different. Sadly, Braque’s name is not as well known as his old friend Picasso. However, Braque held an honor that any artist would dream of: his work was the first ever to be housed in the Louvre during an artists lifetime.
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