Artist biography

Georges Braque 1882-1963

French painter, and occasional lithographer, engraver and sculptor; one of the creators of Cubism; most of his paintings are of still life. Born at Argenteuil-sur-Seine, son of a house painter. Spent his youth at Le Havre, where in 1899 he was apprenticed to a painter-decorator. In 1900 went to Paris to continue his training; also attended evening classes in painting and drawing. 1902-4 studied painting mainly at the Académie Humbert, where he met Marie Laurencin and Picabia. Through his friendship with Raoul Dufy and Friesz began in 1906 to paint landscapes in a Fauve style, but in 1907-8 under the influence of Picasso's 'Demoiselles d'Avignon' and Cézanne, started to use a more restrained palette of greens, browns and greys, simplified his forms, and painted his first Cubist pictures. First one-man exhibition at the Galerie Kahnweiler, Paris, 1908. Close friendship with Picasso 1909-14, leading to the joint creation of analytical and synthetic Cubism and collage. During his war service 1914-16 was severely wounded. His later paintings included many compositions of still lifes and interiors with contrasting patterns and more complex effects of space, including a series of 'Studios' begun in 1948. Designed decor for several ballets, including Les Fâcheux 1923-4. Awarded First Prize at the 1937 Pittsburgh International and the main painting prize at the 1948 Venice Biennale. Died in Paris.

Published in:
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, pp.74-5