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Inspired by Cubism

Cubism is one of the most important artistic movements of the 20th century. Cubist works revolutionised Western traditions of representation. In fact, Alfred Barr, the first director of MoMA, saw cubism as one of the precursors to abstract art. Despite its importance and notoriety, Cubism can be difficult to understand. Here's a short summary to help you understand how this important movement came about and changed the course of art history.

The key ideas of Cubism were first born in Cézanne's works. At the end of the 19th century, the painter began to still lifes and landscapes that were more geometric. The artist famously stated that "treat nature by means of the cylinder, the sphere, the cone, everything brought into proper perspective". Primitive art, especially masks and objects of African tribes, also played a role in the birth of the Cubism. Cubist artists were interested in the method of construction which focussed on the use of very simple shapes such as circles and lines but which nonetheless produced objects which seemed to have an inner force and almost "magical" or 'mystical' feel to them.

Cubism first appeared at the end of the first decade of the 20th century thanks to Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque. The work that is seen as announcing the beginning of the movement is Picasso's Les Demoiselles d'Avignon (1906-1907). An impressive painting of five women with their bodies distorted into angular and geometric. From 1908 to 1910, Picasso and Braque developed a cubism called "Cézannien". The forms and figures were becoming more geometric but still remained very recognisable, as in Nature morte au compotier de Braque in 1908.

Cubism is above all the fragmentation of the visual world as we see it. It is a search for a new mode of representation, one in which the artists take full advantage of the flexibility that painting and sculpture offer them. They discovered in painting could allow them to represent an object from several points of view simultaneously. Thus began the "analytical" cubism that developed from 1910 to 1912. The artists' palette became more restricted and less saturated, the subjects are painted with all in fragmented facets. The compositions could sometimes be difficult to read, bordering on the fully abstract despite being grounded in the representation of the world.

Then, from 1912 to 1914 came "synthetic" cubism. Braque first, and then Picasso,  started to experiment with collage and created compositions using a variety of materials. They used pieces of newspapers and even included puns in their works.

In parallel to Picasso and Braque's cubism, painters such as Albert Gleizes, Henri Le Fauconnier, Fernand Léger and Jean Metzinger developed another style of cubism nicknamed the "cubism of the salons" because their works were accepted by the Parisian salons. This style of cubism tended to be more colourful and less abstract as it focussed on a geometrisation of forms and figures. The Cubist style continued to spread throughout Europe throughout the early 20th century.

Explore our selection of emerging and renowned contemporary artists who have been inspired by Picasso and Braque and who demonstrate that Cubism continues to exist even in the 21st century.

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price,501:1000 facet,10503*Werke von Bestseller-Künstlern|icon-bestsellers*werke-von-kunstlern-bestseller facet,10503*Artworks by best-selling artists|icon-bestsellers*bestsellers facet,10503*Œuvres d’artistes best sellers|icon-bestsellers*bestsellers facet,10503*Obras de los artistas más vendidos|icon-bestsellers*obras-de-los-artistas-mas-vendidos price,1001:5000 category,6*Gemälde*gemalde category,6*Pintura*pintura category,6*Painting*painting category,6*Peinture*peinture facet,10500*Oeuvres d'artistes émergents|icon-youngtalents*jeunes-talents facet,10500*Werke aufstrebender Künstler|icon-youngtalents*werke-von-jungen-kunstlern facet,10500*Young Talents|icon-youngtalents*youngtalents facet,10500*Obras de artistas emergentes|icon-youngtalents*obras-de-artistas-emergentes price,5001:10000 facet,8259*Nos recommandations|icon-recommendations*recommandations facet,8259*Our recommendations|icon-recommendations*recommendations facet,8259*unsere 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découvrir|icon-new-remarquable-artists*nouveaux-artistes-a-decouvrir facet,11997*​New \u0026 remarkable Artists|icon-new-remarquable-artists*new-remarquable-artists facet,11997*Artistas nuevos y destacados|icon-new-remarquable-artists*artistas-nuevos-y-destacados category,5*Sculpture*sculpture category,5*Skulpturen*skulptur category,5*Escultura*escultura facet,8274*Moyen (\u003c 115 x 115 cm)|medium*moyen facet,8274*Moyen (\u003c 45 x 45 inch)|medium*moyen facet,1635*Straßenkunst*street-art facet,1635*Street art*street-art facet,1635*arte callejero*arte-callejero facet,8277*Grand (\u003c 200 x 200 cm)|large*grand facet,1686*Pop Art*pop-art facet,1686*Pop-Art*pop-art facet,1686*Arte pop*arte-pop category,9*Photographie*photographie category,9*Fotografien*fotografie category,9*Photography*photography category,9*Fotografía*fotografia facet,8277*Large (\u003c 200 x 200 cm)|large*large facet,8277*Large (\u003c 80 x 80 inch)|large*large facet,1671*Landscape*nature facet,1671*Paysage*nature facet,1671*Naturaleza*naturaleza facet,1671*Natur*natur facet,1644*Portrait*portrait facet,1644*Porträt*portrat facet,1644*Retrato*retrato category,23*Dessin*dessin category,23*Fine Art Drawings*drawing category,23*Zeichnungen*zeichnung category,23*Dibujo*dibujo facet,8301*Special Offers|icon-promotions*vergunstigte-werke facet,8301*Special offers|icon-promotions*promotions facet,8301*Oeuvres en promotion|icon-promotions*promotions facet,8301*Trabajos en promoción|icon-promotions*trabajos-en-promocion facet,1641*Nude*nude facet,1641*Nus*nus facet,1641*desnudos*desnudos facet,1641*Akt*akte category,15*Edition*edition category,15*Edición*edicion category,15*Print*print category,15*Drucke*editionen facet,11697*Figuratif*figuratif facet,11697*Figurative*figurative facet,11697*Figurativ*figurativ facet,11697*Figurativo*figurativo facet,1830*Paysage|landscape*orientation-paysage facet,1830*Landscape|landscape*orientation-landscape facet,1830*Landschaft|landscape*orientation-landschaft facet,1830*Paisaje|landscape*orientation-paisaje facet,1680*Animaux*animaux facet,1680*Animal*animal facet,1680*Tiere*tiere facet,1680*Animales*animales facet,8274*Medium (\u003c 45 x 45 inch)|medium*medium facet,8274*Medium (\u003c 115 x 115 cm)|medium*medium facet,1827*Hochformat|portrait*orientation-portrat facet,1827*Portrait|portrait*orientation-portrait facet,1827*Retrato|portrait*orientation-retrato facet,1674*Scène de vie*scene-de-vie facet,1674*Everyday life*everyday-life facet,1674*Escena de la vida*escena-de-la-vida facet,1674*Alltagsszenen*alltagsszenen facet,8280*Très grand (\u003e 200 x 200 cm)|very-large*tres-grand facet,8280*Très grand (\u003e 80 x 80 inch)|very-large*tres-grand facet,8271*Petit (\u003c 50 x 50 cm)|small*petit price,1000:501 price,50001 facet,1659*Flore*flore facet,1659*Floral*floral facet,1659*Flora*flora facet,1659*Flores*flores facet,1632*Architecture*architecture facet,1632*Arquitectura*arquitectura facet,1632*Die Architektur*die-architektur facet,11634*Popkultur Straßenkünstler*popkultur-strassenkunstler facet,11634*Pop culture Street-artistes*pop-culture-street-artistes facet,11634*Cultura pop Street-artistas*cultura-pop-street-artistas facet,11634*Pop Culture Street Artists*pop-culture-street-artists facet,1668*Black and white*black-and-white facet,1668*Schwarz und weiß*schwarz-und-weiss facet,1668*Noir et blanc*noir-et-blanc facet,1668*Blanco y negro*blanco-y-negro facet,12220*French artists*french-artists facet,12220*Artistes Français*artistes-francais facet,12220*Artistas franceses*artistas-franceses facet,12220*Französisch Künstler*franzosisch-kunstler category,24*Design*design category,24*Diseño*diseno facet,8280*Very large (\u003e 200 x 200 cm)|very-large*very-large facet,8280*Very large (\u003e 80 x 80 inch)|very-large*very-large facet,126*acrylique*acrylique facet,126*acrylic*acrylic facet,126*Acryl-*acryl facet,126*acrílico*acrilico facet,108*huile*huile facet,108*oil*oil facet,108*Öl*ol facet,108*al 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