( Originally Published 1955 )
Outstanding French modern painter. In addition to the pioneering work in Analytical Cubism that he shared with Picasso, he may also be credited with the development of a thoroughly original and exciting version of Cubism (see) mingled with Fauve color effects - He was the son of a decorator and "Sunday painter" and began to study art in 1893, coming to Paris in 1900 and attending various conventional art schools there. In 1906 he began to show at the Independants, spent the summer with Othon Friesz and through him became for a short time part of the Fauve movement under the influences of Van Gogh and Gauguin- He exhibited with the Fauves in 1907 and sold all his pictures, and in the same year made an arrangement with the dealer Kahnweiler and met Picasso. In 1908 he fell. like Picasso, under the influence of Cezanne and was said by one critic to be reducing everything to "little cubes." His period of Analytical Cubism starts in 1910, and he soon after began to incorporate letters into his works. His Synthetic Cubism of 1912, apparently developed under the influence of his background as the son of a decorator, utilizes a new and artificial method of rebuilding the impression of the figure through the use of so-called papiers colles (see) or pasted papers, actual pieces of wallpaper, playing cards, etc., introduced into the picture. After his war service Braque turned to a kind of serene decorative painting, using large bold color areas but with the residuum of Cubist form still dominant. Since that time he has introduced innumerable variants of this form and color combination. Although disparate in theory, the combined styles in his hands are altogether harmonious and effective.