Georges Braque was a French-born painter and sculptor and the co-founder of the Cubist school of art with Pablo Picasso. Before his involvement with Cubism around 1908, his style was most influenced by Fauvist school.
Biography[edit | edit source]
In 1908, Braque lived in the Montmartre section of Paris and had a studio in the his fellow Cubist, Pablo Picasso, and often frequented Le Lapin Agile with Picasso and his mistress Fernande Olivier. While Picasso painted women, Braque focused on landscapes.
In September, he was at the cabaret playing the accordion while Picasso got into an argument with the older Edgar Degas. After Degas left, he listened to his friend try to impress two other patrons - Norman Rockwell and Indiana Jones. Picasso invited the boys to watch him paint as well as Degas, and Braque and Olivier accompanied him.
Back at the studio, Braque assisted Picasso with the initial chalk sketches of Olivier in a washing tub. When Picasso began to paint from memory, Braque showed the boys around the studio. After unveiling one of Picasso's larger works, Rockwell began making a sketch of it, while Jones listened to Braque's lessons.
Later, at dinner, while the boys danced with some prostitute acquaintances of Picasso's, Picasso plotted to get Degas to sign his painting. Braque felt that tricking Degas was going too far. Their conversation was interrupted by the arrival of two pimps, looking for the girls. When one of them drew a knife, Braque stepped up and delivered the first punch, starting a brawl in the restaurant. When the pimps were knocked down, Braque and the group made their escape to a closed marketplace.
While Picasso gave his insight to Jones, Braque and Olivier searched the rubbish for leftover oranges, having missed dinner.
The next evening, Picasso held an elaborate party for Henri Rousseau above Le Lapin Agile, where Braque dressed in blackface.
The next day, Braque was present at Le Lapin Agile where Picasso and Kahnweiler waited at Le Lapin Agile for Degas to arrive so that Kahnweiler could have his new "Degas" painting signed and purchase it from Picasso. Braque still didn't feel that Picasso's trickery was right, but went along with it at first. When Degas arrived, the old maestro didn't recognize the painting but was coaxed into signing it. Picasso revealed that he was the artist behind the painting and Degas and Kahnweiler had been tricked by his skill. Feeling that Picasso had gone too far in humiliating Degas, Rockwell and Jones didn't back Picasso's claims up - and Braque also suggested that it really must be a Degas painting. Jones then offered to sell Kahnweiler his Picasso-signed cubist sketch (actually drawn by Rockwell). Picasso claimed it was not his, but Braque and the others claimed that only Picasso could have made it. Eventually, Picasso agreed that it was one of his own, and Kahnweiler paid one thousand francs for it.