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Cubism

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General Overview

Cubism was an innovative art movement pioneered by Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque. In Cubism, artists began to look at subjects in new ways in an effort to depict three-dimensions on a flat canvas. They would break up the subject into many different shapes and then repaint it from different angles. Cubism paved the way for many different modern movements of art in the 20th century.

When was the Cubism movement?

The movement started in 1908 and lasted through the 1920s.

What are the characteristics of Cubism?

There were two main types of Cubism: Examples of Cubism

Violin and Candlestick (Georges Braque)

This is an early example of Analytical Cubism. In the painting you can see the broken up pieces of the violin and the candlestick. Many different angles and blocks of the objects are presented to the viewer. Braque said that this style allowed the viewer to "get closer to the object." You can see this picture here.

Three Musicians (Pablo Picasso)

This painting by Pablo Picasso was one of his later works in Cubism and is an example of Synthetic Cubism. Although it looks like the picture is made out of cut up pieces of colored paper, it is actually a painting. In the painting it is difficult to tell where one musician ends and the next begins. This could represent the harmony of the music as the musicians play together. You can see this picture here.

Portrait of Picasso (Juan Gris)

Cubism was also used to paint portraits. In this example of Analytical Cubism, Juan Gris pays tribute to the inventor of Cubism Pablo Picasso. Like many early Cubism paintings, this painting uses cool blues and light browns for colors. The lines between the different blocks are well defined, but Picasso's facial features can still be recognized.


Portrait of Picasso
(Click image to see larger version)

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