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.
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