GEORGES BRAQUE (1881—1963)
In 1899 Braque began an apprenticeship as decorative painter in Le Havre, which he continued in Paris in
1900. Alter one year’s military service, the artist enrolled at the ‘Académie Humbert in 1902. In 1903
Braque transferred to the ‘Ecole des Beaux Arts for a short time, but returned to ‘Académie Humbert’ that
very same year. In 1904 the artist got himself a studio and began to paint independently.
In 1905 Braque was so impressed by the works of Matisse and Derain shown at the ‘Salon d’Automne’,
that he integated their Fauvist style in his painting. His studies of the Fauves, Braque’s ﬁrst encounter
with Picasso in 1907 and the discovery of the works of Cézanne, which were very important for the
generation of young painters, were the decisive factors, which ultimately lead Braque to his ﬁrst
Together, Braque and Picasso developed Cubism, whose classic period until 1914 is divided into an
analytical and a synthetic phase. The analysis and breakdown of an object into its basic forms was their
program, in which the reference to reality stepped back increasingly and in which the subject was
ultimately almost entirely dissolved into color and form structures.
Braque and Picasso parted company at the beginning ofWorld War I. Braque was drafted and after a
serious injury in 1917 returned to Paris, where he spent the rest of his life, except for his summer stays in
Varengeville. While Braque‘s earliest post—war pictures could still be assigned to synthetic Cubism, he
tended toward a more pictoral and realistic style of painting from 1920.
The period in which pure color and the commitment to a complex space and its pictorial realisation
dominated, came to an end with the four ‘Grands Guéridons’, executed from 1928. World War II
prompted the artist to produce more down-to—earth works, which were more appropriate for the gravity of
From 1947 Braque was often forced into inactivity due to ill health. In the years between 1949 and 1956
he realised the ‘Ateliers‘ series including eight oil paintings and particularly dealt with the subject of birds.
On August 31, 1963, the artist died in his Paris apartment. Braque is one cf the most important Modern
artists and leﬂ an impressive oeuvre, which can be admired in important museums and collections.