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Tuesday, September 8, 2009


Hello my dear neighbors, since I thought you enjoy the last talk about history I decided to continue with this new activity in BlogLand. Welcome on board everyone, we are about to start.

Cubism is the grandfather of modern painting. It's the art movement that changed the way we observe nature and totally revolutionized 20th century art. It was prominent in Europe between 1908 and 1919.

Cezanne was indeed the father of modern art and the bridge that he built between Impressionism and Cubism does much to link the 19th with the 20th century. If paintings prior to1850 were tight and smoothly painted, Cezanne taught us to break away from technique and concentrate more on color and the power of a single brush stroke.

Picasso and Braque noticed how Cezanne attempted to disengage with detail and simplify a painting. The Cubists thought that this breakaway from tradition was honest and had to be capitalized on in order for painting to further it's self. The revolutionary breakthrough began when Picasso and Braque began to see Cezanne´s simple brush strokes as component parts to an image. It's as if Cezanne turned his paintings into machines, with parts and accessories. The parts being the brush strokes the accessory being color. Picasso saw how the painting was no longer "just a picture" but rather a series of emergent properties that could be festooned and altered in any conceivable way. Cezanne cracked the glass, Picasso shattered the glass and put the pieces together in what we now know as Cubism.

The Cubist painters rejected the inherited concept that art should copy nature, or that they should adopt the traditional techniques of perspective, modeling, and foreshortening. They wanted instead to emphasize the two-dimensionality of the canvas. So they reduced and fractured objects into geometric forms, and then realigned these within a shallow, relief like space. They also used multiple or contrasting vantage points.

In Cubist work up to 1910, the subject of a picture was usually discernible. Although figures and objects were dissected or "analyzed" into a multitude of small facets, these were then reassembled, after a fashion, to evoke those same figures or objects. Picasso and Braque so abstracted their works that they were reduced to just a series of overlapping planes and facets mostly in near-monochromatic browns, grays, or blacks. In their work from this period, Picasso and Braque frequently combined representational motifs with letters . Their favorite motifs were still lives with musical instruments, bottles, pitchers, glasses, newspapers, playing cards, and the human face and figure. Landscapes were rare.

Analytical Cubism is one of the two branches of Cubism. It was developed between 1908 and 1912. With a muted usage of color such as grey, blue and yellow ochre the Analysts concentrated on reducing subject matter into the simple forms of cylinder, sphere and cone.

The second branch of Cubism created between 1912 and 1919 by Picasso, Braque and Juan Gris was called Syntetic Cybism. This style includes the usage of oil cloth, newspaper and sheet music which were pasted on to canvass along with the first inclusion of "collage" in painting.

Nowadays, Cubism seems like just another facet of abstract art, but in reality, it came first—and it directly influenced most of the abstract art of the 20th century.

That's it for today my friends, hope you enjoyed the chat, you are welcome to comment about it or ask questions if you want to know more about the subject we talked about.


  1. mariana, this is better than any art class i took in college. thank you once again. i hadn't thought about the fact that there are no landscapes done in this fashion--i wonder why? it makes me want to paint such a landscape, which is comical, since i don't know how to paint in any style!!

    best wishes to you. i'll be over to your individual blog soon.


  2. I didn't know too much about the details of Cubism - thanks very much Mariana this was really interesting!

  3. Thanks Mariana, it is not the art style I prefer, but it is always interesting to learn how artistic developments and changes are made. I hope you will tell us regularly about art.

  4. Kj
    thank you very much for the compliment, about the landscape, maybe it is due to the fact that the came after the impressionist, so they where trying to reinforce the fact of their own difference with them. Or maybe because it is mre related to abstract/matematical things and less to the ones from nature

    My pleasure, glad you did like it.

    Thanks you very much for yourlovely comment, inndeed it is neither my favourite movmement, for example I do not like most of picasso's stuff, but I find in it some really interesting theorical and practical things.
    I would try to tell you regulaily about art, if you like it I will be glad to do it.

  5. Mariana-I am going to finish this comment and then go try some cubism on my own-Just the thing to brush out the old cobwebs!

  6. Cool, then take a picture and show to us the results. Do not worry we will be kind.

  7. Mariana, thank you. I do not know much about cubism; your post rectified some of my ignorance. Very well done...better than some of my art teachers, for sure!

  8. You are so cool Mariana! And a fascinating teacher!

  9. Super fascinating class, Mariana!
    I do love Picasso and wish for the talent to be able to do cubism.I'd never thought about the lack of landscape either.

  10. Marion:it is my own pleasure that you enjoy it, like it, and learn from it. It is funny what you tell about me being better than some art theachers, first because I never studied art, neither painted, second because when I tried to teach at university it was very hard for me.
    But I might try again, who know, maybe...

    Lydia, thanks a lot I really apreciate your encouragment!

    babas: I went red with your compliment thanks for it. I am really happy that you did like it.

  11. Mariana, I've re-read this post and I have a question for you. Is it possible that you show us some example paintings in the art style you are presenting to us in future? I would like that very much. It is more work for you of course and I don't know whether you will continue these kind of interesting posts, but....

  12. I think cubism is one of the funniest forms to hit the art world. Love it!