June 11, 2011

Georges Braque

Georges Braque, one of the great French painters, was born in Argenteuil. His father was a Sunday painter, meaning he painted part-time as a hobby. He received his first art lessons from his father. Braque later studied at the school of Fine Arts in Le Havre before going to Paris. Braque was also influenced by the Impressionists and by his contemporaries, Henri Matisse and Andre Derain whose Fauve movement he joined in about 1905. By 1907, the architectural influence of Paul Cezanne had asserted itself and Braque, with Picasso, founded the Cubist movement. He began to paint in muted colors and in the geometrical patterns, inverted perspective, and overlapping volumes associated with Cubism. Braque and Picasso worked together, until the World War I began. Braque was mobilized into the French Army in 1914, and a head wound he received in 1915 made him temporarily blind so that he could not paint again until 1917. He began to develop a new and more personal style, using a brighter palette and freer manner. These qualities, as natural to Braque as his quiet manner, prompted the French government to proclaim him the "most French of all French artists of his generation.”

Braque changed styles as time went on. Tao Te Ching Verse 32 states that The Way has no true shape, and therefore none can control it. We too must change our styles in various things. To stand still is to be left behind. The Tao is always changing, never stagnant. Verse 32 also states The Way is shaped by use, but then the shape is lost, so do not hold fast to shapes. Do not be afraid of change. Change as effortlessly as the seasons.

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