Why is it called Cubism?

Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque may be the famous artists we think of when we talk about cubism, but they didn't invent the term. In fact, it was the artist Henri Matisse.

He apparently saw some paintings by Georges Braque and described them as being made up of 'little cubes'!

An art critic overheard him and invented the term 'cubism'.

Was Cubism just paintings?

No! Cubism definitely included sculpture too. Picasso was mainly a painter but he also experimented with making sculptures like the one you can see below, which is a still-life. That means he looked at a selection of objects and tried to capture what they lookedl ike in the sculpture. What objects can you see?

Pablo Picasso, ‘Still Life’ 1914
Pablo Picasso
Still Life 1914
Tate
© Succession Picasso/DACS 2022

Sculptors like Henri Laurens made sculptures which were thought of as cubist too - like this one.

Henri Laurens, ‘Head of a Young Girl’ 1920
Henri Laurens
Head of a Young Girl 1920
Tate
© ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2022

Watch the video about Cubism and then test your knowledge by playing Art Bingo!