Monday, January 3, 2011

In The Beginning: Georges Braque

Georges Braque (1882-1963) is famed for being the co-creator, with Pablo Picasso, of Cubism. The most detailed biography of him that I could find on the Web is here. It mentions that he destroyed much of his early, student-period work.

This is not a nice thing with respect to this series of posts about the stylistic roots of modernist painters. That is, I have yet to find any painting by the young Braque that are uninfluenced by modernism in one form or another. Nor could I find any late works suggesting serious movement to representational art.

The result of this frustration is that I have no way of telling if Braque might have been capable of painting in a realistic manner at all, let alone how well he might have done so had he persisted. In this respect, Braque might well be the earliest of many artists whose post-art school work is uniformly modernist.

For what it's worth, then, are some examples of his paintings made when in his mid-twenties.


Harbor at Estaque - 1906

Landscape at Estaque - 1906

Le port d'Anvers - 1906

Olive Tree Near Estaque - 1906
(Stolen from Paris' Musée de l'Art Moderne in 2010.)

Le viaduc de l'Estaque - 1907-08

Le viaduc a l'Estaque - summer, 1908
This version shows hints of Cézanne.

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