Who is George Braque?

Gilles Farina
Publié le 9 May 2023
Who is George Braque?

We all know about cubism, the movement that pushes the idea that art is not a copy of nature, but that there is a parallel to it and that geometric forms emerge. An art that was brought to life by two painters: Pablo Picasso and George Braque. Picasso is well known, but what about George Braque?

A multi-talented artist

Braque was born in 1882 in Argenteuil. The artist started out as an apprentice decorative painter before moving to Paris in 1903 to study fine arts. There he painted his first impressionist-influenced canvases, before moving closer to Fauvism with compositions such as "Port de l'Estaque". He thus began his career as an impressionist, then was inspired by Matisse and exhibited fauvist paintings at the 1906 Salon des Indépendants. The following year, he discovered the work of Cézanne and collaborated with Picasso to create Cubism.

It was from 1908 onwards that his works broke with the traditional aesthetic. The artist tried to transpose three-dimensional objects onto two-dimensional paintings and worked with Pablo Picasso on recomposition and geometrisation.

Man with the guitar

So when we think of George Braque, one painting immediately comes to mind: Man with a Guitar from 1911. This is an emblematic example of analytical cubism. Indeed, the painting is characterised by a superimposition of planes, heavy and dark tones.

Moreover, on closer analysis of the work, we realise that it is a man playing a stringed instrument. Braque invites us to reflect on his work by discovering all the secrets of the man with the guitar.

After the Second World War, Braque was greatly affected by these years of darkness. Indeed, his paintings became more sombre, like The Cauldron (Le Chaudron). The artist died in 1953 and left behind dozens of works that have forever marked the history of art.

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