Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Cubism, Georges Braque

Georges Braque
     Georges Braque (1882 –1963) was a major 20th century French painter and sculptor who, along with Pablo Picasso, developed the art style known as Cubism. Braque's paintings of 1908–1913 reflected his new interest in geometry and simultaneous perspective. He conducted an intense study of the effects of light and perspective.
     Beginning in 1909, Braque began to work closely with Pablo Picasso. Braque was interested mainly in developing Cézanne's ideas of multiple perspectives. Both artists produced paintings of monochromatic colour and complex patterns of faceted form, now termed Analytic Cubism. In 1912, they began to experiment with collage and papier collé. After the World War I, Braque working alone, he began to moderate the harsh abstraction of cubism. He developed a more personal style characterized by brilliant colour, textured surfaces, and the reappearance of the human figure.
Woman with a guitar
     Woman with a Guitar was painted in 1913 by Georges Braque. It is an excellent example of Braque cubism paintings. It has the mainly cubism feature: multiple perspectives. It’s a synthetic cubism, so we can observe that while the painting is abstracted the basic subject can still be seen easily the top in the feminine mouth, eye… as well as the brown trapezoid shape containing the strings of a guitar. At the bottom of the painting we observe a fragment of text. Braque used papier collé, a painting technique and a type of collage that Braque created. It is very common on synthetic cubism. Meanwhile Cubism used to use only a few colours, the Synthetic Cubism offered a richer palette with more colours. Although “Woman with a guitar” is a synthetic Cubism painting, Braque only painted it in two colours:  ochre and grey.

I like because...(Iratxe)
      I like this painting because in my opinion Cubism is a very innovator style. I think that the technique uses, oil on canvas and charcoal, is the suitable one, because oil is a flexible paint that allows to the author makes transparencies. I agree with multiple perspective due changes completely our traditional point of view. It is interesting that the panting is a little abstract, since I have fun discovering a lot of details and forms as much I look for it. While this image is fractured, it is not chaotic. Braque creates visual dynamics through balance.

     I love the used of papier collé. Braque uses newspapers in a collage at the bottom of the image. It plays with texture and surface, and it breaks the flat surface making it more suggestive. The outlined edges of geometric shapes that form perspectives are doing the image more eye-catching. The limited palette (ochre and grey) on the painting gives to the image a neutral and sober tone which invites to reflexion. I enjoy the mood create, the woman eyes were close in relaxed expression and hold a guitar in her hands that suggests music. The picture expresses peaceful, because of it I like so much.
I don’t like because…(Lucía)

     I don’t like this painting although I like cubism. I think that the multiple perspectives only make the painting more confusing and difficult to understand because you watch the same thing from different points of view.
     You have said that this painting is a bit abstract, and that when you have stared at it you have discovered many details. I don’t like this because that means that if you want to understand the painting you must be concentrated, otherwise, you won’t understand it totally. For example, the first time I watched the painting I only could see clearly the guitar, but I couldn’t see the figure of the woman.
     Moreover, “Woman with a guitar” is a synthetic Cubism painting (which means that it has a richer palette with more colours) but Braque only painted it in two colours:  ochre and grey. I believe that if Braque would have used more colours, the painting would have been much more dynamic and easier to understand. In addition, the chosen colours (ochre and grey) suggest sadness. He painted the whole painting with the same colours and this makes the painting pessimistic and cold. We can see this in her eyes which are almost closed and in the way she has the guitar in her hands, like she doesn’t want to play the guitar.

Lucía and Iratxe

Braque's information extrated from: Looked up on April , 2012
Woman with a guitar's information and image extracted from: Wildy, Jade(Aug 31, 2010) "Cubism and Braque's Woman with a Guitar" (English). : Modern Art History. Looked up on April , 2012


  1. Well done, ladies! Very good example of this Cubism style and very important painter.
    Very good summary of main characteristics.
    Thanks a lot!

  2. I don't like much this picture. It's very abstract and not colourful. However, I still prefer it from other one called "Man with a guitar" from the same artist and it's a very good example of cubism.

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  4. Thank you Pelayo for your comment, I have been looked for "Man with a guitar" and it's very dark and sad painting, and difficult to understarnd. I agree that it is better "Woman with a Guitar", but I like it more than you.

  5. I do like cubism ´cause fasciast don´t. This is the meaning of art, do something innovative and daring, something that shocked and changed, if only a little, nothing. art is not only to create, also serves to raise opinions and discussions. If I were an artist, I would like to be hated and unloved.

  6. Dear students thank you for sharing your likes and dislikes with us, it´s very challenging to observe how much you participate in this interesting discussion!

    Dear unknown writer "Americana-Psichodelia": It´s not very usual to have "foreign " readers but I am very pleasent to meet you. I absolutely agree with you and thought your remark was very clever. Thank you for yor comments, we´re waiting for the next one, I hope so. You´ll be welcome