Georges Braque exploded onto the French art scene in the early 1900s, transforming the Impressionist art movement into a new, refreshing, Cubist aesthetic. With his abstracted imagery of still lifes, birds, and flowers, Braque worked closely with fellow artist Pablo Picasso; together, they helped transform the modern idea of fine art as we know it. Known for his use of bold color, brooding landscapes, and feminine geometry, he was also able to create an extensive oeuvre of Braque lithographs, etchings, and aquatints. [Read biography »]
Georges Braque Biography
Georges Braque was born 1882, in Argenteuil-sur-Seine, France. He grew up in Le Havre and studied evenings at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts from about 1897 to 1899. He left for Paris to study under a master decorator and received his craftsman certificate in 1901. From 1902 to 1904 he painted at the Académie Humbert in Paris, where he met Marie Laurencin and Francis Picabia. By 1906, Braque's work was no longer Impressionist but Fauve in style and after spending that summer in Antwerp, he showed his Fauve work the following year in the Salon des Indépendants in Paris.
His first solo show was at Daniel-Henri Kahnweiler's gallery in 1908 and in 1909, Pablo Picasso and Braque worked together in developing Cubism. By 1911, their styles were extremely similar and in 1912 they started to incorporate collage elements into their paintings and to experiment with the papier collé (pasted paper) technique. Their artistic collaboration lasted until 1914 when Braque left to serve in the French army during World War I and was subsequently wounded.
After World War I Braque's work changed and became freer and less schematic. In 1922 he did an exhibition at the Salon d'Automne in Paris where his fame continued to grow. By the end of the decade, he had returned to a more realistic interpretation of nature, although certain aspects of Braque's Cubism always remained present in his work. His first important retrospective took place in 1933 at the Kunsthalle Basel, and he won First Prize at the Carnegie International, Pittsburgh, in 1937.
During World War II, Braque remained in Paris. His paintings at that time, primarily still lifes and interiors, became more somber. In addition to paintings, he also made etchings, lithographs, engravings, prints and sculpture. From the late 1940s, he treated various recurring themes, such as birds, ateliers, landscapes, and seascapes. In 1954, he designed stained-glass windows for the church of Varengeville. During the last few years of his life, he continued to paint, make lithographs, and design jewelry, dying in 1963 in Paris.
Considered one of the most important artists of the 20th Century, Braque's aquatints and lithographs are dynamic. Never the same style or interpretation, his still lifes, birds and flowers speak to change and sentiment.
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Artistic Styles of Braque
Picasso Cubism, Cubist 20th Century French Modern Master
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