One of the most important artists of the 20th century, here we examine the style and painting techniques of artist Braque, and consider his key relationships with other famous figures.
The work of Georges Braque features predominantly Fauvist and Cubist paintings, with his career providing a significant influence on the direction of 20th century art. Whilst the artist's occasional journeys into offshoots of impressionism brought bright colour, he was most productive with sombre cubist art which reflected the troubled times of that era. The early work of Braque was impressionist-based, inspired by the influential work of artists like Paul Cezanne, Claude Monet and Edouard Manet. It was to be the foundation of his skillset, before he later moved on to Fauvism and Cubism.
It was his work with Cubism, and significant role in creating this art movement, which place him as an important artist. His work with Matisse and Picasso meant he was a respected artist with impressive connections. The artist also worked with other mediums besides oils on canvas, including various materials for his sculptures and lithographs, plus also some stained glass windows. The work included in this section covers some of the highlights from his painting collection, with Cubism featuring heavily. Like most artists, he would experiment heavily in his youth as he sought to find his true calling as an artist, before then settling on an approach that he particularly liked, which would then become his signature look.
Within the large selection of relatively dark and sombre cubist artworks you will also find a number of bright fauvist pieces, such as Landscape at La Ciotat, Yellow Seacoast and L'Estaque. They feel like another world in comparison, and will remind some of the paintings of Robert Delaunay in their construction and colour schemes. Those would be the two categories into which most of his work would fit, but it is surprising that he would choose two styles that in many ways are so very different. That said, we are comparing two very modern styles of form and colour, which are both still a long way from the more traditional art movements which the likes of Braque, Picasso and Miro were so keen to move away from. This is despite them being being able to have worked in those styles too. We do know that Braque was a confident, though quiet, individual who was bright and perhaps allowed his more gregarious colleagues such as Picasso to take more of the limelight.
Braque himself was involved in many mediums besides just the oil paintings that we discuss here. He was a skilled draughtsman, like most highly trained, educated artists that grew up in late 19th century France. He also worked with collage successfully, often merging that with oils in the application of mixed media which was to become a major element of mid to late 20th century art. He would sometimes produce prints from his drawings and there was also a number of sculptures too, where the cubist would seek to take their mindbending world into the third dimension. This section focuses purely on his paintings and comprehensively covers both his work as a fauvist and cubist artist. There is much to see and enjoy, with most of the items found below now displayed in some of the most prestigious art galleries and museums in the world.