Cubism in art

Cubism developed in France at the beginning of the 20th century. It was an extravagant trend, quite specific and strongly distinguished from the previously known artistic trends. Its most prominent representative was Pablo Picasso.

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1. Cubism - representatives and assumptions

The precursor of cubism was Georges Braque, who in his paintings began to reduce everything to geometric figures: landscape, figures, buildings. He collaborated with Pablo Picasso, with whom he exchanged views and ideas. They painted landscapes and still life. Their paintings were distinguished by their lumpiness.

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The name "cubism" comes from the Latin word 'cubus' meaning a cube, a cube. The French art critic Louis Vauxcelles was the first to use this term in reference to Braque's landscapes.

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2. Phases of cubism

The Cubist revolution took place in 1907-1914. It was not, however, a uniform period. We can distinguish:

  • pre-Cubist (Cezann) phase 1907-1910 - painters depicted the world with solids, artists abandoned painting the natural structure of the human body,
  • analytical cubism (1910-1912) - monochrome works appeared (mainly black, white and gray),
  • synthetic cubism (1912-1914) - images were made of various shapes; they were painted not only with paints, but also mixed with sand or sawdust; the images were also accompanied by, for example, scraps of newspapers (especially the headlines of the daily press), tickets, leaflets; the paintings were livelier, more colorful than in the earlier phases of cubism.

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3. "The Maidens of Avignon" by Pablo Picasso as an example of a cubist work

The flagship cubist work is Pablo Picasso's painting "The Maidens of Avignon". This work is inspired by the exotic (primitive African masks). The women depicted on the canvas do not look natural, they are deformed and assume a provocative pose. They resemble a monster, they have nothing beautiful about them. Their bodies are distinguished by their lumpiness and sharpness. The painter did not use chiaroscuro.

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The painting was first presented at the Autumn Salon in 1916. Picasso did not show it to the world for a long time. It could only be admired by a small group of the painter's friends.

Interestingly, Pablo Picasso did not consider himself a representative of cubism. He was an individualist whose art was understood only by himself and Georges Braque. His works are the result of research and experience.

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4. Cubism in short

  • Representatives: Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Fernand Leger, Francis Picabia, Louis Marcoussis, Jean Metzinger Albert, Cleizes.
  • Timeframe: 1907-1914
  • Features of cubism: lumpiness, abandonment of perspective, lack of realistic character modeling, openness to experiments, abstract symbolism
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