What Picasso made so legendary

Cubism was initially defined by the French late impressionist painter Paul Cézanne without knowing it himself. He claimed that all forms in nature can be traced back to spheres, cones and cylinders.

The new art movement arose out of a six-year dialogue between Picasso and Braque. Their friendship was legendary and their personalities as diverse as they could possibly be, both in temperament, in their intellectual approach and in their talent for painting. The sometimes rival partners inspired each other and revolutionized the art of the 20th century.

The first phase was called "Analytical cubism". It was characterized by the complete decomposition of motifs into the corresponding cubist form elements. In doing so, all rules relating to light and shadow or perspective were dispensed with. The color palette has been reduced to muted tones such as gray, brown or dark green. By experimenting and introducing other objects ("objets trouvés"), such as newspaper clippings or labels, the collage was soon invented. In doing so, one moved more and more away from the motif.


The second phase, which was exactly the opposite of the first, was now obvious. She called herself "Synthetic cubism". Here one started with a work in a very abstract way and only developed the representational references in the course of time. Picasso described this way of working with the famous quote: "I'm not looking, I find." While Braque's works remained mostly abstract, Picasso was always tempted to instinctively work figures out of everything, even if it was just a splash of color.