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Example research essay topic: Braque The Fogotten Cubist Master - 992 words

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... his career. The events which conspired during WWI and the years that followed boosted Picasso's Popularity while diminished Braque's.(Frank,18) At this point in history, 1914, Braque left the art scene to fight in the war. He entered the army as an infantry sergeant and served with distinction, being decorated twice in 1914 for bravery. In 1915 he suffered a serious head wound, which was followed by a trepanation, several months in the hospital, and a long period of convalescence at home at Sorgues. During this period he added to the aphorisms he had been in the habit of scribbling on the margins of drawings, and in 1917 a collection of these sayings, put together by his friend the poet Pierre Reverdy, was published in the review Nord-Sud as "Thoughts and Reflections on Painting." Even a brief sampling can suggest the quality, at once poetic and rational, of Braque's mind and the sort of thinking that lay behind Cubism: New means, new subjects.

. . . The aim is not to reconstitute an anecdotal fact, but to constitute a pictorial fact. . .

. To work from nature is to improvise. . . . The senses deform, the mind forms.

. . . I love the rule that corrects emotion. (Braque) Released from further military service, the artist rejoined the Cubist movement, which by then was in what is sometimes called its synthetic phase--a not very adequate way of referring to a tendency to use more color and to represent objects not by the previous spider web of analytical signs but by relatively large emblematic planes. (Frank, 18) Rapidly, however, he moved away from austere geometry toward forms softened by looser drawing and freer brushwork; an example of the change is the 1919 "Still Life with Playing Cards." From this point onward his style ceased to evolve in the methodical way it had during the successive phases of Cubism; it became a series of personal variations on the stylistic heritage of the eventful years before World War I.

This change in Braque's style, and his with drawl from cubism during the war ( 1914-1918 ) were the major contributors to his loss of fame. Before the war the two artist, Braque and Picasso, were considered equals in every aspect of painting. But, Braque left the art scene for four years and Picasso used this time to accelerate his career ahead of Braque. Braque's name was all but forgotten due to this absence. George Braque, through his creation of "Houses L'Estaque" set the standards for analytic cubism. He is the father of analytic cubism, but this is a title that the general public has no recollection of. Picasso took the title away from Braque when he was leading the movement during World War One.

George Braque was out of the art scene for to long to ever recover his role as the prominent figure of cubism. ( John, 31) Braque, along side Picasso, can be credited with sparking the creations of various artistic styles with their creation of the new visual language of cubism. His visual language of cubism was adopted and further developed by numerous painters which followed his lead. Such painters are Fernand Lger, Robert and Sonia Delaunay, Juan Gris, Roger de la Fresnaye, Marcel Duchamp, Albert Gleizes, and Jean Metzinger. Though primarily a style associated with painting, Cubism also exerted a profound influence on 20th-century sculpture and architecture. Chief among the sculptors who worked in this style are Alexander Archipenko, Raymond Duchamp-Villon, and Jacques Lipchitz. The adoption of the Cubist aesthetic by the architect Le Corbusier is reflected in the shapes of the houses he designed during the 1920s.

The cubist style that was created by Braque and Picasso was a fundamental foundation for the future generations of modernist painters. This style was an essential building block in modern art. George Braque, along with Picasso are the two most influential artists of the twenty first century. (Flam, 144) "Who is the father of cubism?" Well I would have to agree that Both Picasso and Braque put their efforts together when creating cubism, but Braque was the first to create an analytic work: "House at L'Estaque." They are both leaders of cubism, but Braque was the first to create a cubist work, so he should receive the title of father of cubism. These two leaders of cubism are the two most influential painters of the twentieth century. Braque and Picasso both were the foundation artists who started an aspect of all the future art movements of the twentieth century.

(Golding 144) Braque has never received the recognition he should have because of Picasso's fame, but by examining his life story and understanding the circumstances involved during his life we can see that he has been disregarded as the prominent figure that he is. Braque's "House at L'Estaque" is the painting that sparked the start of analytic cubism and that painting is one of the turning points in art. Although Picasso became the father of modern art with his "Les Demoiselles d'Avignon", Braque is the father of cubism because he created the first analytic work. Braque has never received the recognition he deserves, and it coincides well with a quote that Braque stated himself: "In art there is only one thing that counts: the thing you can't explain." George Braque Bibliography: 1) Brenson, M. "Picasso and Braque, Brothers in Cubism." New York Times. 91/22/89, p C1 2) Clark, Michael. "Braque- George ( back to basics)." Times Educational Supplement.

1/31/97. Issue 4205, p.10 3) Flam, J. "Cubiquitous." Art News. Dec 89, p 144 4) George Braque, Illustrated Notebook, 1971-1975. Ed S. Applebaun, Dover, NY 5) Golding, J. "Two who made a Revolution." New York Review of Books. 5/31/90, Vol 37 issue 9 p 8.

6) Gopinik, A. "A Leap in the Dark." New Yorker. 10/23/89, p 132. 7) History of Modern Art, H.H. Arnason & Marla F. Prather, 4th Edition 8) John Golding, Cubism: A History and an Analysis, 1907-1914 9) Richard, John. "Braque, The great forgotten modernist." New York Review of Books.

2/27/97. Vol 44 Issue 5, P 31. 10) Whitfork, Frank. "Royal Academy of Arts." TLS. 2/14/97. Issue 4898 p.18 11)"Will George Braque every get his due?" Hudson Review.

Autumn 97, Vol 50 Issue 3, P 444..

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