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Braque and Picasso: The Cubist Adventure

By Stephen Eaker


Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso

“Cézanne, the father of us all!” proclaimed Picasso for the rest of his life, after he had discovered the master of Aix during his early years in Paris. Cézanne’s late work shows an amazing reduction of natural motifs to square-shaped patches of color. The geometrizing of shapes in both his landscapes and still lifes, oils and watercolors, will eventually lead to what we call “Cubism.” One scholar has stated: “Cézanne cracked the glass, Picasso and Braque then shattered it.” Such an assessment is truly accurate when studying the genesis and evolution of Cubism.

“Braque and Picasso: The Cubist Adventure”
Wed, Nov 12, 4:30 and 6:30pm
La Ostra Roja
A Casa Verde Annex
San Jorge 45
Colonia San Antonio (off Refugio Sur)
130 pesos
Reservations: 121-1026 or

Indeed, Cézanne’s later paintings and techniques were further explored and developed by Picasso and Braque. The development of Cubism has long been considered by many to be a Picasso invention, and Braque, acknowledged as a mere follower. However, this is not the case. Braque’s contributions to Cubism also demonstrate Braque’s maturity as an artist. Like Cézanne, Braque’s genius presented itself over time, yet Picasso’s genius was more immediate and obvious.

The development of this radical new approach to painting was a partnership between the Spaniard and the Frenchman. The Cubist innovations and characteristics of pasted paper, stenciled lettering, painted faux marble and wood paneling effects, and the addition of sand to oil paint to give it texture, were the innovations and contributions of George Braque. Braque not only shared them with Picasso, but also showed his friend how to achieve and master these techniques. Due to Picasso’s undeniable and incredible genius, the Spaniard took the lessons he learned from Braque to greater points of completion.

The years 1908-1914 are the most intimate of Braque and Picasso’s artistic friendship and partnership. Together with African art, another major source of inspiration, though mostly for Picasso, the two painters developed what is known as pure Cubism in the year 1910, and by 1912 Cubism was considered the most revolutionary art form in the world with Picasso crowned as its king. Cubism continued to evolve before World War 1. The First World War brought this brilliant artistic period to an end and also severed the sincerity and intimacy of Picasso and Braque’s friendship. Their friendship had resumed by the 1930s but the intimacy was never quite the same. By the 1950s, it was Picasso who was also asking and inquiring about Braque and his work, rarely the other way around.

I would like to invite you to hear the story of this incredible turning point in painting and sculpture that will set the stage for the further development and enrichment of 20th century art.


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