But Braque did not, as did his precocious friend, show signs of immense artistic talent as a young child. Instead, he started off planning to follow in his father's footsteps, with, yes, a paintbrush in his hand, but one designed to paint the walls of houses and offices rather than create beautiful and expensive pieces of art.
Fortunately, his talent was spotted and his painter-decorator certificate was rarely used after his admission into the Académie Humbert in 1903. Braque visited La Ciotat, a Mediterranean resort town, during the course of one summer in 1907. He was inspired by the town's beautiful setting: sea vistas, picturesque rocky cliffs, and the tranquil urbanity of small-town France. La Ciotat is one of the many such paintings inspired by the region, and can currently be seen the in National Museum of Modern Art in Paris (Musee National d'Art Moderne), along with some other examples of his work. It is depicted in the fauvist style that saw him rise to fame.
Fauvism is a style of art that uses non-naturalistic colours: in the case of Georges Braque's La Ciotat, the effect is charming. The trees and sky, even the ground, are defamiliarized and made new, and the image strikes the viewer as being simple and caricaturised – almost cartoonish – on first viewing. But this is misleading as closer scrutiny reveals the depth of detail and the accuracy in the forms depicted, if not in the replication of natural tones. See also the work of Matisse and Robert Delaunay.
Braque did not remain faithful to fauvism (which, as an art movement only lasted about ten years in total), becoming enamoured of cubism and a more subtle and muted palette following his inspiration from the works of Paul Cézanne. In a way, it was only after 1916 that his work transformed once again, becoming less definable and more his own unique style, softer than cubism and less vibrant than fauvism.