Georges Braque was a French painter born in 1882, and the co-creator of the Cubist art movement.
Although never as popular as Picasso, who is widely known for his Cubist paintings, including the famously-large Guernica painting in 1937, Braque was nearly as influential in spreading the new art movement.
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Interestingly enough, Georges Braque actually got his start as an interior house painter in his family’s business. He then transitioned into fine art in the early 1900s.
When just starting out, Braque was influenced by some of the most prominent painters of his time—first Matisse and the Fauves with their bold, wildly colorful paintings; and soon after, Cézanne and Picasso.
In fact, his earliest work makes me think of a cross between Cézanne and the Fauves, with a bit of Gauguin thrown in.
It’s interesting to see how his work progressed: becoming flatter, and less colorful. Here you can see the influence of the Fauves beginning to wane.
By 1910, Braque was closely working with Picasso. Around that time the art movement known as Cubism slowly took shape.
Their paintings tried to show objects from every direction at once—a truly Cubist, or multi-sided perspective.
It’s easy to mistake Braque’s work around that time period for a Picasso, or vice versa. In fact, Picasso once said that he couldn’t even tell the difference.
That’s because beyond just working together, they often painted the same objects, like violins. Add to that a similar cubist twist, and it becomes even more difficult.
The two artist’s partnership ended when Braque left Paris to fight in World War I. After returning from the war, he still continued to paint, but alone.
From that time on, until the end of his life, his artwork focused on increasingly flattened shapes, collage-work, and textural additions to his paintings.