Discover the radical 20th century arts movement. This resource introduces cubist artists, ideas and techniques and provides discussion and also activities.

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In 1907 Gestarrkingschool.netes Braque checked out Pablo Picasso’s studio. This studio visit significant the beginning of one of the most necessary friendships in the background of art. Over the next few months and also years the two artists common their ideas, scrutinized each other’s work, challenged and encouraged each other. In ~ some stage in approximately 1907 or 1908 they invented an exciting brand-new style of paint – cubism. Your close working connection at that time was later explained by Gestarrkingschool.netes Braque:

The things that Picasso and I said to one one more during those years will never be stated again, and even if castle were, no one would know them anymore. It was choose being roped together on a mountain

Picasso and also Braque were shortly joined in their art adventure by other artists who were trying out with various ways of showing the world approximately them. Artists such as Juan Gris, Albert Gleizes, Jean Metzinger and also Robert Delaunay who all operated in a cubist style.

Cubism explained

Cubism looks very different to numerous other styles of painting. How does the work? What were Braque and Picasso's reasons for turning their earlier on timeless techniques? just how did the cubists develop their new style?

The illusion that space

Since the Renaissance in the fifteenth century, europe artists had actually aimed to develop the illusion of three-dimensional an are in their drawings and paintings. They wanted the suffer of looking at a paint to be prefer looking with a home window onto a genuine landscape, interior, person or object.

How do you make things look three-dimensional top top a two-dimensional surface? approaches such as straight perspective and also tonal gradation space used. Perspective requires making points look bigger and also clearer as soon as they room close up, and smaller and less clear when they are more away. By doing this friend can produce the illusion the space. Artists also use tones (shadows) to create the illusion of three-dimensional objects. By gradually changing the darkness the a shadow, you can make something watch solid.

These illustrations by J.M.W Turner display how perspective and also tone (or shadow) have the right to be supplied to create the illusion the real, solid three-dimensional objects.

Joseph Mallord william Turner Lecture chart 42: Perspective building and construction of a Tuscan Entablature c.1810

A new reality

The cubists however, felt that this kind of illusion is trickery and does not give a genuine experience that the object.

Their aim was to present things together they yes, really are, not simply to display what castle look like. They felt that they can give the viewer a an ext accurate understanding of one object, landscape or person by showing it from various angles or viewpoints, so they used flat geometric forms to represent the various sides and angles of the objects. By law this, they can suggest three-dimensional qualities and also structure there is no using approaches such as perspective and shading.

This breaking under of the real civilization into flat geometric shapes additionally emphasized the two-dimensional flatness that the canvas. This suitable the cubists’ belief that a painting must not pretend to be choose a window onto a reality scene however as a flat surface it need to behave choose one.

Look in ~ this paint by Gestarrkingschool.netes Braque that a glass ~ above a table. Deserve to you clues the approaches he has actually used come emphasize the flatness that the picture, however at the very same time, do the objects look at solid?

The phases of cubism: analysis vs synthetic

Cubism have the right to be separation into two distinct phases. The first phase, analytical cubism, is thought about to have run until around 1912. The looks an ext austere or serious. Objects are separation into lots of flat shapes representing the see of castle from various angles, and also muted colours and also darker tones or shades room used. The second phase, man-made cubism, involves simpler shapes and brighter colour (and looks an ext light-hearted and fun!)

Practical activities

Use these task suggestions to explore ideas and create a cubist masterpiece updated for the twenty-first century.

Carved wood female number (minsereh)Mende, more than likely late 19th century AD, native Sierra LeoneTrustees the the british Museum

There to be two vital influences top top the advance of cubist style: the paintings of Paul Cézanne and also sculptures developed by non-European artists. Usage these activities to explore these two artistic approaches

Cézanne’s approach

Braque and Picasso substantially admired Paul Cézanne. Cézanne’s paints of figures and landscapes are made up of little planes (flat shapes) and repeated brush strokes. They regularly seem to be painted indigenous slightly various viewpoints. That is this affect that we have the right to see in the work of the cubists.

If girlfriend look in ~ Cézanne’s paint of trees and rocks in the grounds that the Château Noir, the surface appears to vibrate through a mesh of tiny interlocking planes.

Select a small section that the image and copy it, enlarging it so that it fills her pageUse paint, crayons or pastels come copy the marks and also coloursSculptures from non-European cultures

Picasso and also Braque to be amazed through the sculptures they witnessed in the Trocadero museum in Paris. Picasso explained sculptures indigenous French Polynesia and also Africa together ‘the most an effective and many beautiful things the human creative thinking has ever before produced’.

Look closely at the sculpture above. Think around the following and also make notes in your sketchbook

Where is the from?How huge do friend think the is?Is it realistic?Has the sculptor simplified the figure?Do components of the seem exaggerated or emphasised?What go the sculpture make you think and also feel?What do you think the sculpture was initially made for?Create

Create a portrait utilizing sculptures native non-European societies as your inspiration. This deserve to be a self-portrait or a portrait of who else.

Use your notes about the sculpture you determined from the slideshow over to assist you v approach and also techniqueHow has actually the sculptor simplified and exaggerated the forms. What effect does this have actually on your an answer to the work?Can you produce a similar effect in your portrait?

The cubists want to display the totality structure of objects in their paints without using techniques such together perspective or graded shading to do them look at realistic. They wanted to display things as they really room – not simply to present what they look like. They walk this by:

Emphasizing the flatness the the snapshot surface by break objects down right into geometric shapesDepicting objects from lots of various angles. In this way they can suggest the three-dimensional top quality of objects without making lock look realistic.Activity

Create a simple still life using the cubist an approach of many viewpoints

Choose three simple objects and also group them together (e.g. Trainer, mobile phone, apple, headphones, soft-drink can)Sketch or photo the group of objects indigenous four different viewpoints. (Viewpoints can include from the front, indigenous above, from each side, indigenous close-up, from far away…)Cut increase each map out or photograph right into eight sectionsChoose 2 sections indigenous each original sketch / photograph and put them with each other to form one picture .

If you have accessibility to snapshot editing software application you can use this to create your picture. Use the tips below:

Photograph her still life from four different viewpoints and also save these imagesSelect a tiny section native each photo using the square marquee toolOpen a brand-new image and paste two sections indigenous each original photograph to form your different viewpoint quiet life.

From around 1912 Braque, Picasso, and also other artists working in a cubist style such together Juan Gris, began to use much easier shapes and also lines and also brighter color in their artworks. They additionally began to add textures and patterns to their work, often collaging newspaper or other patterned document directly into their paintings. This technique was called fabricated cubism. Browser the slideshow to remind you yourself what the looks like.


Create a still life in the man-made cubist layout that explores shape, pattern and also texture. Usage the three objects friend selected earlier, however this time use only flat shapes, an easy lines and patterns come depict lock in a tho life. Here are some ideas.

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You could draw a simple outline that the objects top top brightly coloured or patterned sheets of file such as newspaper or wrapping paper. Cut these shapes out and also collage them right into your still lifeThink around the an unfavorable shapes (the forms left in the document once friend have reduced your object out of it). Could you add these to her still life?Look in ~ the shadows make by the objects. How deserve to you make these shadow shapes part of the work?If her objects include text or numbers (such together the title of a publication or a brand name on trainers), usage numbers or letters reduced from a newspaper or newspaperDon’t be fear to mix media. Usage charcoal or wax crayon to attract shapes or details over collage. Use repaint to cover level bright areas, or to include texture or pattern to her still life.

If you are still stuck because that ideas, this computer animation may help!