Cubism - art in France

Cubism was an art form popular from about 1908-1919 in France. It was not easily accessible art, but it was a grand, and partly successful, attempt to see things anew by allowing all the interesting facets of one object to be seen from different directions at the same time.

The leading proponents of cubism were Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque, who worked together on its development, although it rapidly gained many other followers. It is probable that the later works of Cezanne were the initial inspiration for the cubism art style.

For the first three years, now referred to as 'analytic cubism', there was little focus on colour. Rather the attention was on analysing the object, and then compiling a montage of the interesting elements that emerged.

The art became progressively more abstract, and it is often difficult to clearly discern the subject being studied.  The picture here is titled Violin and Candlesticks (Braque, 1910)

Violin and candles, painting by Braque

picture thanks to wikipedia

In later years, as cubism reached a world stage, it entered the phase now known as 'synthetic cubism'. This included more colour, less shading, and an increasing use of different materials and fragments glued together as a collage. Piece of newspaper and sheet music were also commonly glued into place.

Ultimately, and perhaps inevitably, cubism didn't retain its popularity in this form, but that wasn't the point of cubism. The artists involved moved on to other ways of representing objects, such as Picasso and surrealism. But cubism had opened the eyes of artists to another way to visualise objects, and thus it had an important and far-reaching impact on the future develomment of art.