Georges Braque was born in Argenteuil, on 13th May,1882.

His artistic vocation seemed to him to be a natural continuation of the family tradition, and he remained faithful to it in spite of the many distractions of his boyhood.

While still at school, he attended evening classes in the School of Fine Arts.

He had a happy youth; robustly built, he swam, rowed, boxed and cycled with enthusiasm. He was wery fond of music and took flute lessons with Raoul Dufy’s (Le Havre 1877 – Forcalquier 1953) brother.

Georges Braque moved to Paris 

In 1900, he went to Paris to finish his apprenticeship, but was called up for military service almost at once.

Demobilized in 1902, he enrolled in the Académie Humbert, which he deserted for two months only to join Raoul Dufy and Friesz, his friends from Le Havre, in the school of Fine Arts.

Fauvism had burst upon an astonished world the year before, when Henri-Émile-Benoît Matisse (Le Cateau-Cambrésis 1869 – Nice 1954) exhibited his first landscapes of Collioure and Saint-Tropez, with their large patches of pure colour.

During the Autumn Salon of 1905 which excited the fury of the diehard supporters of academic tradition and the protests of the last stalwarts of Impressionism.

George Braque Fauve’s period was of short duration, and his represented by no more than a score of paintings.

He appreciated the revolutionary nature of the movement, particularly the categorical and long overdue rejection of the traditional, linear perspective, chiaroscuro and modelling, but he was far too lucid and reflective an artist to give way to delirious enthusiasm, like André Derain and Maurice de Vlaminck (Parigi, 4 aprile 1876 – Rueil-la-Gadelière, 11 ottobre 1958) or to sacrifice form to colour like Henri Matisse.

In Braque’s Fauve pictures, the pure colors are less violent, the objects are more clearly defined, the construction more careful and the close connection between the colouring and the drawing characteristic of his later style is already evident.
He is not trying to extend the limits of his art, but to define them; not to multiply the means at his command, but to use them more economically, and with greater effect.
Many of these works are almost monochromes; by using different shades of single colour, he endows is with an unsuspected power of evocation.
For a Fauve, he was singularly moderate and discreet.

Suddenly a few splashes of colour; short strokes and dots applied thickly and heavily, the outlines firmly drawn with the brush; a few unpainted patches of white canvas here and there to rest the eyes all these combine to make a unified and coherent whole.

Soon the stokes become longer and less angular, as in the ample arabesque of the House behind the trees, but these graceful curves in turn give way to a severer, more angular style.
The composition becomes more rigid and the colours darker and the George Braque’s Fauve period is over.

George Braque and Pablo Picasso and the Cubism 

The art critic Louis Vauxcelles saw them and complained that George Braque had reduced everything to geometrical diagrams and little cubes, thereby unwittingly inventing a name for the new movement of which George Braque and Pablo Picasso were the founders and remain the truest representatives.

The two artists, who first met in 1907, at the Apollinaire’s home, soon became life-long friends.

The whole of the greatest of Cubism, until the outbreak of the First World War, was dominated by their experiments, undertaken concurrently or in collaboration.
It is generally believed that the first Cubist painting was Picasso’s Young Ladies of Avignon (1907), but the same claim might be made for George Braque’s Large Nude (1908), which belongs to the same year.

The Cubist vision is already expressed with masterly skill in a series of landscapes he painted at l’Estaque in 1908 and at La Roche-Guyon and in Normandy in 1909.
The main movement in these pictures is vertical. The trees are mere trunks, and the house little more than polyhedral shapes; the only colours, apart from brown, black and grey, are dull blues and greens.

The planes are reduced to their simplest possible forms and volumes vigorously defined.
In short, the artist makes the appearance of the natural world conform to the own geometrical conception of it. Yet would be wrong to accuse him of deliberate distortion.
George Braque did not consciously choose to paint in the Cubist manner as other artists have painted in the Symbolist or Abstract manner.

Georges Braque admitted himself:

” I was Cubist without know it”.

Georges Braque and the Cubism on Egidi MadeinItaly
Georges Braque The Clarinet 1912

Still-life

He now abandoned landscapes for still-life, which satisfied his growing desire for simple forms and sharply-defined volumes.
The 1918 is the period of musical instruments and scores, tables and bowls of fruit.

Georges Braque and the Cubism on Egidi MadeinItaly
Juan Gris Bottle of Rum and Newspaper 1914

Violin and Pitcher

Still Life with musical instruments in his violin and jug, begun at the end of 1909, and finished early in 1910, with its juxtaposed planes, overlapping volumes, straight lines contrasting with curves, cones, cylinders, inverted perspective, and sober colouring.

Georges Braque Natura morta con Violino
Georges Braque Natura morta con Violino

Georges Branque and Cézanne

It is easy to see both how much George Braque owes to Cézanne and how far he has outstripped him.

It is clearly only a short step from these pictures to Cubism proper.

In 1911 they spent the summer together at Céret, and in 1912 at Sorgues. So close was their collaboration that it is difficult to distinguish between their works. The pictures of both artists are often oval in shape, and frequently contain letters of the alphabet; and both show the same interest in papier collé and marble or wood surfaces.

Papier collé

He invented the papier collé incidentally, saved Cubism from the obscurity and formalism into which it threatened to degenerate.
The strips of paper ingeniously attached to drawings or paintings did not merely delight spectator with the charm of the unexpected. They brought about a notable modification of the Cubist outlook and technique.

The early attempts to analyze from by breaking them down into their constituent elements, had given way to a logical, homogeneous, vigorous form of art, of which Braque was undoubtedly the creator.

The Newspaper

The Newspaper 1919, ushers in a new stage in the artist’s development. A new style in which only the least controversial elements of Cubism are retained. There severe architectural construction seems to have been eliminated from these works. The freedom of the drawing and the quiet sumptuousness of the colour give a clear indication of a change in Braque’s outlook.

But the Cubist discipline, thought discreetly hidden, is still there.
Cubism became the most influential style of the first half of the 20th century.
Under the influence of Paul Cézanne (1839-1906) and tribal art, Picasso and Georges Braque, developed this new style as an extraordinary exploration of the visual properties of form.
The painted was preoccupied with problems of forms and space, and the Cubist solution of these problems was as revolutionary as that Leon Battista Alberti and Paolo Uccello five centuries before.