Between the years of 1909 and 1911, Pablo Picasso, along with his artist friend, Georges Braque, developed a modern style of art known as Cubism.
In 1907, a year after the death of French painter, Paul Cézanne, Picasso attended a retrospective of Cézanne’s work. A retro- spective is an art exhibit that covers an artist’s entire career, showing all the works he or she has produced throughout the years.
Picasso had been familiar with Cézanne’s art, but it was at that moment when he realized the full impact of his artistic accomplishments, and from that point on, “Cézanne’s influence gradually flooded everything” in Picasso’s art.
What inspired him most was how Cézanne took elements from nature and simplified them into basic geometrical shapes and forms. In Cézanne’s work, Picasso discovered how to streamline a subject matter, reducing it down to its basic, essential shapes. So, he began experimenting with these techniques together with his friend, Georges Braque, resulting in the “invention” of Cubism.
These two artists began to look at people and objects differently. In an effort to depict three-dimensional things on a flat, two-dimensional canvas, they would break down the subject into the most basic of shapes, then reassemble them in abstract form, painting from different angles. Perspective was lost as the artists portrayed their subjects from multiple viewpoints.
Picasso’s style would evolve throughout the next seventy years of his artistic career, but he would continue to borrow from Cézanne’s art and reinterpret his style over and over.
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