Georges Braque, The Billiard Table, 1944-52

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Georges Braque, The Billiard Table, 1944-52, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, New York

Georges Braque, born on May 13th, 1882, in Argenteuil, Val-d’Oise! Braque, together with Pablo Picasso, are the founders of Cubism, an art movement that is considered to be the force behind propelling European art forward, and to this day is seen as one of the most important art movements of 20th century. Originally, Braque was more of an impressionistic painter, however, after attending an exhibition of Fauvist artists and greatly influenced by Henri Matisse, Georges’ style began to move towards Fauvism. In 1907, Braque’s style began to shift once again, this time after being introduced to Paul Cezanne’s work, which Braque was able to see exhibited in a large scale exhibition in Paris in 1907, a year after the artist’s death. This evolution was expedited by Braque’s meeting of Pablo Picasso when he went to see his breakthrough work- Les Demoiselles d’Avignon. Picasso and Braque became incredibly close, meeting almost every day to discuss ideas and to compare work. However, the relationship became strained when Braque, upon his return from war in 1914, found that Picasso’s work began to take on a more figurative presence, which is a separation from Braque’s Cubism ideology. The main difference between Fauvism and Cubism is the latter is a much more structural, angular and calculated expression of the subject. While Fauvism uses bright and strong colors and loose linework, Cubism employs much more subdued color palette and geometrically correct lines and forms.
Braque’s Cubism centered more on the expression of essence and character of an object, and its inner and personal relevance to Braque himself, as opposed to an actual and physical representation of it. His break down of landscapes and still lifes into the most basic shapes and colors prompted French art critic Louis Vauxcelles to describe his work as “bizarreries cubiques” thus giving Cubism its name. Pictured here is Georges Braque, The Billiard Table, 1944-52, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, New York
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