Georges Braque Biography

Georges Braque




Georges Braque was born in Argenteuil on May 13, 1882. His family moved to Le Havre in 1890 where he had his first encounters with painting in his father's painting business. He attended lectures at the Le Havre Art Academy as of 1899, a short time later he started to work for a decorative painter. Braque went to Paris in 1900, and continued his apprenticeship as a decorative painter while attending drawing classes at the school of Batignolles, followed by study at the Académie Humbert. 

Braque saw works of the "Fauves" in the Salon d'Automne in 1905, which impressed him so much that he applied their bright colors to his own work. He spent the fall of 1906 painting in L'Estaque, in the footsteps of Paul Cézanne, whose paintings he also admired. Together with the "Fauves", he exhibited in the Salon des Indépendants in 1907. It was also 1907 that he met Pablo Picasso, viewing his painting "Les Demoiselles d'Avignon". A close friendship between Braque and Picasso began, as they closely examined the art of Paul Cézanne, they developed the Cubist style of painting. They exhibited in the gallery of Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler in Paris in 1908. 
Braque's and Picasso's close co-operation lasted until 1914.  In fact some works from this period of "analytic Cubism" (1909-1912) are hard to clearly ascribe to one or the other artist, and their painting became more and more abstract. Georges Braque began to add letters to his pictures, drawn labels or Trompe-l'oeil effects, a technique that is then also explored by Picasso. The period of "synthetic Cubism" followed as of 1912, a period during which Braque made paper collages, the "Papiers collés", which are again taken on and developed by Picasso. They integrated other materials such as paper, wood, or sand into their paintings. 

Georges Braque served in World War I, where he suffeed a severe head injury followed by a long period of convalescence. He began painting again in 1917, making works that he would only make public as of 1923. He became detached from Cubism, his works underwent permanent changes over the following time.

Besides paintings, Braque also created an extensive graphic oeuvre as of 1912, making etchings, some in colors, lithographs and woodcuts. As of 1939 he began to work intensively with sculpting and ceramics. He made the "Stuio pictures" as of 1949. Georges Braque died in Paris on August 31, 1963.