Cubism & Self-portrai What is cubism? • Cubism is an art movement that began during the first...

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  • Cubism & Self-portrait

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  • What is cubism? •  Cubism is an art movement that began

    during the first part of the 20th century by Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso.

    •  Cubism are abstract representations of the real world were the artists gives complexity to the narrative of its work by studying and painting more than one plane of reality. It became distinctive by its flattened, yet dynamic, style.

  • During his last works Paul Cézanne explored in his paintings the idea of segmented areas within the canvas and the simplification of the objects.  

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  • Later, this works of art became the foundations and the inspiration for what would come to be known as cubism. Paul was the spark for artist like Braque and Picasso to innovate.

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  • Many agree that the first cubist painting is Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (1907) by Spanish painter Pablo Picasso.

  • Though many other scholars say that it was George Braque’s L'Estaque series of paintings. Either way, it is undeniable that both artists changed radically the way of viewing the world.

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  • Cubism derived its name from remarks that were made by the painter Henri Matisse and the critic Louis Vauxcelles, who described Braque's 1908 work "Houses at L'Estaque" as composed of cubes.

  • It was the first stage of the cubist movement and one of its major branches. In this phase, the cubists “analyzed” natural forms and they reduced forms to basic geometric parts to create a two-dimensional picture plane.

    ANALYTICAL CUBISM (1910/1913)

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  • Color was almost non-existent and color palettes were monochromatic that included grey, blue and ochre.

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  • This cubism movement was characterized by the introduction of different surfaces, textures, collage elements and a great variety of merged subject matter.

    SYNTHETIC CUBISM (1913/1924)

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  • In comparison to Analytic Cubism, Synthetic Cubism is actually pushing several objects together. Less pure than Analytic Cubism, this movement has less shading, creating flatter space.

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  • In the essay Modernist Painting, Clement Greenberg, maybe the greatest art critic in history, states that the utterly most important issue of art is its flatness. He states “Because flatness was the only condition painting shared with no other art, Modernist painting oriented itself to flatness as it did to nothing else” (Greenberg, 1960).


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  • What he was saying is that the only way painting differentiated itself from the other arts was because of its two dimension, rather than the volumetric nature theater or sculpture had. (Clement Greenberg)

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  • Cubism became important as it took things one-step further and began playing with the concepts of time and space. Even though it was visually flat, Cubism was all about the study of different planes, the different faces of the object as well as the change it had through time.

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  • The innovation of cubism was that it abandoned the organic forms of past movements, and it became its main objective to construct geometric spaces.

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  • Just like Cézanne’s impressionist paintings paved the way for cubists, Cubism paved the way for geometric abstractionism. It became the inspiration for clean lines and a whole new group of artists, such as Mondrian.

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  • Pablo Ruiz y Picasso was born was born October 25, 1881 in the city of Málaga, Spain. He was a sculptor, painter and poet best known for the co-creation of the Cubist movement and the co- creator of the collage. Probably, Picasso is the most influential artist of the 20th Century.


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  • Picasso demonstrated extraordinary artistic talent in his early years, painting in a

    realistic manner through his childhood and adolescence. During the first decade of the

    20th century, his style changed as he experimented with different theories,

    techniques, and ideas. His work is often categorized into periods.

  • The most commonly accepted periods in his work are: the Blue Period (1901–1904)  

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  • the Rose Period (1904–1906)  

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    the African-influenced Period (1907–1909)  

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  • Analytic Cubism (1909–1912)   “Ma Jo

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  • Synthetic Cubism (1912–1919)  


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  • Picasso was baptized Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Martyr Patricio Clito Ruíz y Picasso.

    FUN FACTS about picasso

  • His first word was "piz," short of lápiz the Spanish word for 'pencil’. Picasso was a long term friend and rival of Henri Matisse. Pablo Picasso’s first painting was completed when he was 9. .  

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  • On August 21, 1911, someone stole the Mona Lisa from the Louvre and turned the art world upside-down. A man came forward with a statue he'd stolen from the museum four

    years earlier. He claimed to have stolen a few of them for the poet Guillaume Apollinaire, who said sold them to

    Picasso. The 29-year-old artist was taken to court, but after denying the theft he wasn’t charged.  


    A self-portrait is a representation of an artist, drawn, painted, sculpted, or photographed, by the artist itself. Artists have been known to use this technique since ancient times, but it is not until the Renaissance that it becomes relevant.

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  • People like Leonardo Da Vinci used them as a self- exploration method, either as a way to understand anatomy or to understand themselves. During this period it became a common practice for the artist to insert its own image into their larger works, such as Caravaggio and Raphael.  

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  • Yet, some scholars agree that self-portraits might have risen to fame because it was cheaper for the artist to paint itself than to hire a model. Either way, self-portraits came to be very important during the course of art evolution. Artists such as Rembrandt and Van Gogh dedicated most of their works to the study of their selves.


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