About cubism, its characteristics and artists

Picasso and other painters cubism features

About cubism and its characteristics


In 1907 Pablo Picasso completed his work "Les demoiselles d'Avignon". With this work and this year, one also brings the beginning of cubism in art history in connection. One could call cubism a mental art flow which is differentiated from the realistic representation of everything that surrounds us.

Cubism crosses borders. One frees oneself with the desire to be in harmony with the reality. The purpose of cubism is to be able to depict thoughts pictorially. Thus cubism has a lot to do with surrealism.

Pablo Picasso and the beginning of cubism

picasso Les demoiselles d'Avignon cubism features

The first visual difference to the latter, however, is the forms that are used. They are, as the name of the style itself says, cubist.

Pablo Ruiz Picasso

picasso black white portrait cubism

Picasso's artwork "Jacqueline with flowers"

picasso cubism features Jacqueline with flowers

Cubism characteristics

The most important Cubist features are the geometric shapes. They are always present in the compositions. This also applies to the simplified nature forms. Of the latter, especially circles, spheres and cubes occur. But contrary to what many people think, cubism can not be called an abstract. On the contrary, its forms are very concrete. This is another difference to Surrealism. Cubism respects the physical boundaries of forms as they are typical of our perception.

Sylvette, 1954 by Pablo Picasso

picasso cubism features Sylvette David in green chair 1954

There are also typical subjects for Cubism. These are the urban centers on one side, and the portraits on the other.

There are many different currents within cubism. We would now like to discuss two important ones.

Pablo's daughter with doll

picasso artworks his daughter with doll cubism features

Synthetic cubism

This is about the free reconstruction of images. It looks like an object has been taken apart and reassembled by a 3-year-old child. Eventually, the author somehow manages to preserve the most typical features of the object.

It is also interesting among the cubism characteristics that the technique of collage is often used. The objects depicted here are always those that are typical of the most banal part of our everyday life.

 Juan Gris - bottles and knives

painter Juan Gris works cubism features bottles and knives

Analytical Cubism

This is about the disassembly of the original composition of objects into parts and their representation in geometric forms. This is the pure form of Cubism and it requires the greatest mastery of the artists.

"Woman sitting in an armchair" 1920 by Picasso

picasso cubism features Woman sitting in an armchair 1920

The most important painters of Cubism

From the most important features of Cubism we now move on to its typical representatives. These are George Braque (1882-1963), Juan Gris (1887-1927), Fernand Leger (1881-1973) and Pablo Ruiz Picasso.

Pablo Ruiz Picasso (1881 - 1973)

picasso black white portrait cubism features


picasso artworks Harlequin cubism features

The art direction was very strong represented in the 40s, so it is contemporaries of the two world wars. It is not surprising, then, that destruction and social and political critique are such an important part of their artworks.

 Painter Georges Braque

Georges Braque painter cubism features

Artworks by Georges Braque 

cubism painter Georges Braque artworks

Musical instruments in cubism style

painter Georges Braque artworks cubism features

still life

Painter Georges Braque works cubism features

Fernand Leger

Painter Fernand Leger cubism artworks

"Leisures on red bottom" by Fernand Leger

painter Fernand Leger works cubism Leisures on red bottom

Strong red accents

Painter Fernand Leger works cubism features