Picasso was born in Spain in 1881 and there is scarley a movement he did not influence over the last century.  Picasso was associated with Cubism and he and Georges Braque invented this.   Both artists, wanted to show an image compressed into a single moment, showing all sides, front, back, and top.  To capture the object from all angles at one defined moment. At this time both of these men were relativley unheard of so they had time to experiment with and no pressure was on them to conform to any objective.  Cubism has three phases

1 Facet Cubism

2 Analylitic Cubism

3 Synthetic Cubism

The subject matter is broken up.analyzed and reassembled in Abstract and contrasting form.

This movement was initially influenced by African and Oceanic art and in particular Masks. The first Cubist work Picasso worked was Les Demoiselles de Avignon in 1907.

Georges Braque responded to Picasso with Grand NU in 1908

Cubism did more than any other movement to free painting, it defied the two dimension of old, it dismantled every scene into component planes and it made items square so they could be shown ” in the round”.  Primary goals of Cubism was to depart from the traditional of perspective and space .  Cubism is based on a intellectual experiment with structure rather than an expression of emotion,   like previous art movements  Impressionism and Post impressionism.

Analytical Cubism or distortion is a more systematic study of structure removing colour, using monochromatic and earth tone, so the focus was more on the structure. The Mandolin is a great example of this as it deconstructs and displaces.  The goal of this is to depict time and space.

The Social and Political Times.

The Paris World Fair had just unveiled Gustav Eiffels tower and industrialism had began with man and machine working as one. Mechanical, angular,  power and ferocity had began to show in art. Juan Gris and Ferand Leger had began using this new technology in their works, especially Skyscaper  

This is exactly where Picasso had began when he merged art and industry.


Picasso had been influenced by The Fauves  {wild beasts., because of how they used colour and line in an uncontrolled and violent way} in particular George Seurat, Henri Matisse, and Paul Cezanne .  Cezanne once said artists should treat nature in the term of “the cylinder the sphere and the cone”  although none of his work actually applied this theory, it worked for Picasso and Cubism.

Cezanne in his paintings Mont Ste Victoire 1904 and 1906, a vivid link and influence can be seen , the angles and line are predominant, and this is what Picsso used to build upon.

Picasso invented Cubism  with it he inspired many artists and movements throughout the 20th century.  Constructivism was born from Cubism. After visiting Paris, Vladimir Tatlin went home to Russia and he and Naum Gabo began creating art using what they had seen Picasso doing, creating and experimenting with cardboard, string and other add items, semi sculpturally using  this in painted works.  Significant of the times as workers and labour was being invested in building a new society in a new century.

Before Cubism and After

Two periods before the arrival of Cubism was Picasso s Blue and Rose periods before Picasso was famous he indulged in falling in love “rose period” and his ” blue period”, was when he had little or no money.  This is predominant in the colours he was working with. 

Absrtact Art

Picasso opens the door to many movements and Abstact art was one



this piece of work is called Nude lying down, and although not cubist the viewer can certainly see the displacement and distortion used in cubism.   Many artists have Picasso to thank for having the front and foresight into was what was to come. Artists such as Richard Hamilton {PopArt} Gius Severini {Futurism} and Kurt Switters {Dada} and {Rayonnism}, which was inspired by Cubist and Futurist manifestos.  There is no doubt Picasso and his art will continue to influence and inspire many artists to come.


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