Georges Braque (1882-1963)
Georges Braque was born on May 13, 1882, in Argenteuil-sur-Seine, and grew up in Le Havre, where he studied at the École des Beaux-Arts from 1897-99. He then completed an apprenticeship as a decorator in Paris, with the prospect of taking over his father’s business, and simultaneously attended art classes at the Académie Humbert, where he befriended Marie Laurencin and Francis Picabia. Initially painting in Impressionist style, Braque joined the Fauves movement in 1906. Along with his childhood friend and fellow artist Othon Friesz he spent the summer in Antwerp, and exhibited his Fauve work at the 1907 Salon des Indépendants in Paris. German art dealer Daniel-Henri Kahnweiler staged Braque’s fist one-man show at his Paris gallery in 1908. From 1909 on, Braque worked closely together with Pablo Picasso, developing Cubism. For several years both artists produced paintings and collages in a very similar style. Their artistic collaboration ended with the outbreak of WWI. Braque served and was seriously wounded. After the war, he returned to Paris and began a close friendship and collaboration with artist Juan Gris. Still lifes and interiors remained central themes to his work throughout his life. During the mid-1920s he designed the decor for two Ballets Russes productions. Braque’s first important retrospective was staged by the Kunsthalle Basel in 1933. After WWII he continued to paint, produce lithographs, and design jewelry. Georges Braque died on August 31, 1963, in Paris.