In the fine arts, the term Cubism describes the revolutionary painting style invented by Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque in Paris, during the period between 1907 and 1912. His Cubist methods initially influenced by geometric motifs in the painter’s landscape compositions post-impressionist Paul Cézanne, radically redefined the nature and scope of artistic painting and, to a lesser extent, sculpture, as was previously practiced, and they announced an entirely new style. Different ways of representing reality. Cubism marked the end of the era dominated by the Renaissance and the beginning of modern art .


What is cubism?

It is an artistic movement that enclosed painting , literature and sculpture and whose main objective was to move away from the naturalistic representation of things to simultaneously capture an object from different angles.


What is cubism?

Cubism consists of simultaneously capturing the same object so that it can be seen from different angles , this is achieved through the use of geometric figures such as triangles, squares, rectangles and cubes. His approaches are very unpublished in the field of art.


Their approaches are totally unprecedented in the art. He creates a new pictorial and aesthetic language that implies a new relationship between the viewer and the work of art. The viewer cannot just stare at the work, but must reconstruct it in his mind in order to understand it. Painting is something mental, the viewer interprets reality according to the guidelines given by the work and becomes an artist, a creator .

It also consists of separating aesthetics from the interpretation of nature, so that the work has value in itself, as a means of expression of ideas . It disassociates nature by decomposing the figure into its minimal parts, and painted in a geometric way .


The main characteristics of Cubism are:

  • It had a multiple perspective to represent all the objects on the same plane.
  • Color management was based on a low light gray, green and brown color palette.
  • The main interest of Cubism was more focused on how to represent the coas .
  • It formally begins with the painting The Ladies of Avignon (Demoiselles D’Avignon) by Pablo Picasso .
  • In its first stage the gray and ocher color prevailed .
  • Cubism was weakened by the First Civil War .
  • He died in 1919 when the post war began .


After three decades of impressionism , culminating in the Fauvist color movement , Picasso became concerned that painting was a dead end with no possibilities for intellectual exploration . In this state of mind, and recently exposed to African tribal art while in Spain , he began to paint Les Demoiselles D’Avignon , an innovative masterpiece, whose splintered planes replaced the traditional linear perspective and rounded volumes thus signaling his break with the naturalistic traditions of western art. At the same time, Georges Braque, a former student of the prestigious Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, had just been overwhelmed by the 1907 Exhibition of Cézanne’s paintings at the Salon d’Automne and the Bernheim-Jeune Gallery, in particular Cézanne’s masterpiece.

In the summer of 1908, while staying in L’Estaque, near Marseille, Braque painted a series of landscapes that were exhibited later that year in a gallery in Paris owned by art dealer Daniel-Henri Kahnweiler . Reviewing this exhibition, the famous art critic Louis Vauxcelles commented on the way Braque reduces everything, views , figures and houses , to geometric outlines, to cubes . The following year, Vauxcelles used the expression cubic eccentricities , a phrase supposedly first used by Henri Matisse, and by 1911 the term “Cubism” had entered the English language.

Who invented it

Picasso has always been considered the creator of Cubism. However, the truth could be otherwise. Cubism is a term that was first used by the critic Louis Vaucelles to give a deranged perspective on a work of art. It is also believed that it arose in oriental art and in African art as there were many resources that hinted at the presence of cubism.

Where was he born

Scholars and followers of the movement assure that cubism was born in France and that it developed between 1907 and 1914. The main exhibitors were Pablo Picasso , Georges Braque and Juan Gris.

The origin of the name arose when Braque had an exhibition in Paris in 1908, where he had taken a series of paintings. Henri Matisse was present at the exhibition and, surprised by the linear and geometric lines of the works, began to talk about cubes .

Types of cubism

In this movement there are two well differentiated phases or types of cubism:

  • Analytical Cubism : It is also known as pure and quite complete cubism . It is based on the decomposition of geometric shapes and figures to be able to make an analysis and rearrange them in a different and decomposed way.
  • Synthetic Cubism : it was the continuation of analytical cubism and its bases were the recomposition of objects, they looked for a way to capture the essence of the physiognomy . They used many predominant colors and shapes and it was at this stage that the collage technique emerged and the use of elements from everyday life to give a global image offering a concrete reference.

Cubism themes

His themes were based on elements that could not be specified, in the substitution of feelings for humor and joy . They used geometric figures to portray reality. The main subjects are portraits and urban still life .

Cubist architecture

Cubism greatly influenced architecture. He was against architecture that was very utilitarian , materialistic , spiritual and not theoretical enough. They thought that architecture should be more poetic , expressive and full of drama .

Cubist painting

It is considered the most important pictorial expression of the movement. It originated in Paris with Pablo Picasso . It was a short but very important movement, so much so that it surpassed the contemporary styles of Europe . He looked for a way to break with the classical norms, the depth and the description of nature.

Cubist sculpture

Cubist sculpture has the same aesthetic as pictorial sculpture , and also has the same objectives , the difference is that cubist works in three different dimensions . His sculptures are characterized by the simultaneity of perspectives, by the intersection of volumes , the decomposition of forms and the new valuation of materials .


The main representatives of Cubism were:

  • Pablo Ruiz Picasso : painter and sculptor of Spanish origin considered the best artist of the 20th century. He was part of many artistic movements and painted many works that today are kept in important museums around the world.
  • Georges Braque : He was a French painter and sculptor . He is considered one of the creators of Cubism. He painted mainly still lifes and his works spread throughout the world.
  • José Victoriano González-Pérez : better known as Juan Gris , he was a painter of Spanish origin with a firm structure and good rhythm, with a colorful and synthetic cubism .
  • Fernard Léger : he was a French painter of a cubist character. It was inspired by World War I and began a period known as the mechanical period in which it used symbols of the industrial world.

Cubism works

Some of the main works within Cubism are the following:

  • Picasso portrait
  • Still life with blind
  • Still life with guitar, book and newspaper
  • Guitar and mandolin
  • Three musicians
  • Guernica
  • Les Demoiselles d’Avignon

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