Georges Braque France, 1882-1963
Georges Braque (b. 1882, Argenteuil, France; d. 1963, Paris, France) was a trailblazing artist of the twentieth century. A painter, sculptor, and printmaker, Braque changed the course of art history alongside his close friend and collaborator Pablo Picasso. While Braque originally trained to become a house painter, he spent his evenings studying fine art painting at the École Supérieure des Arts in Le Havre. In 1903, he enrolled at the Académie Humbert in Paris, where he met artist Francis Picabia. Braque began his career by producing Impressionist works but grew to be aligned with Fauvism by 1905. 1907 marked a major turning point for the artist; upon seeing Paul Cézanne’s first major retrospective in Paris at the Salon d’Automne, Braque was inspired to focus on light and perspective in his painting practice. Between 1908 and 1912, Braque explored questions of geometry and dimensionality in painting–experiments that would lead to the invention of Cubism. Beginning in 1909 and continuing until World War I broke out in 1914, Braque and Picasso worked closely with one another to invent and practice the new breakthrough style of Cubism, though the two artists’ conception of it remained distinct. After serving in the war and suffering from temporary blindness, Braque returned to painting in 1916 upon moving to the seaside in Normandy. His late work is characterized by a return to the human form and still life. Braque’s legacy remains inextricably tied to one of the most creative and consequential periods of modern art history and his work is collected by countless museums across the globe.