Georges Braque Artist Biography

Georges Braque was one of the founders along with Picasso of the Cubist art movement. His piece 'Nude' (1907-1908) can be seen as one of the earliest works in Cubism. Georges Braque's work throughout his life focused on still life and means of viewing objects from various perspectives through colour, line, and texture. Georges Braque was born in 1882 in Argenteuil, a Seine-side village near Paris. Both his father and grandfather were skilled artists. In 1890, the family moved to Le Havre where Georges Braque led quite a solitary childhood. He went to the local Ecole des Beaux-Arts but failed his exams in 1899. Wanting to pursue artistic painting further, he moved to Paris and apprenticed with a master decorator before painting at the Académie Humbert from 1902 to 1904.

Georges Braque started his art career using an Impressionistic painting style. In Paris, he strake up a friendship with Raoul Dufy and Othon Friesz and circa 1905, he became involved in the Fauvist movement: a style which incorporated bold colours and loose-form structures to emulate deep emotions. From 1902 to 1904, he painted at the Académie Humbert in Paris where he met Marie Laurencin and Francis Picabia. By 1906, his work was no longer Impressionist but Fauve in style; after spending that summer in Antwerp with Othon Friesz, he showed his Fauve work the following year in the Salon des Indépendants in Paris.

In 1907, he first saw the work of Paul Cézanne and in the same year met Pablo Picasso who had just completed 'Les Demoiselles d'Avignon' (1907). Although not immediately impressed, Georges Braque began experimenting with a fragmented style, eventually completing 'Nude' (1907-1908) which can be seen as one of the earliest works in Cubism. From 1909, Pablo Picasso and Braque worked together in developing Cubism. For the next few years Braque worked closely with Picasso particularly between 1910 and 1912. 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.

Georges Braque served in the French army during World War I and was wounded. Returning to the studio in 1917 his work became freer and less schematic. In 1922, an exhibition of his work at the Salon d'Automne in Paris was acclaimed and by the 1930s his reputation was international. He continued to paint still lifes and interiors, with the 'Studio' series, begun in 1947, proving one of his most accomplished. During World War II Braque remained in Paris. His paintings at that time, primarily still life and interiors, became more somber. In addition to paintings, Georges Braque also made lithographs, engravings, and sculptures. 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, Georges Braque’s ill health prevented him from undertaking further large-scale commissions, but he continued to paint, make lithographs, and design jewellery. He died on August 31, 1963, in Paris. "I no longer believe in anything. Objects don't exist for me except in so far as a rapport exists between them or between them and myself. When one attains this harmony, one reaches a sort of intellectual non-existence - what I can only describe as a state of peace - which makes everything possible and right. Life then becomes a perpetual revelation. That is true poetry." Georges Braque.

More art prints from Georges Braque

A Tire dAiles 1956 DAMAGED By Georges Braque
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