Famous Cubism painters and their most outstanding works

Famous Cubism painters and their most outstanding works

Discover some of the most famous Cubism painters and their most outstanding works.

Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque are the founding fathers of Cubism, the avant-garde artistic movement that was developed between 1907 and 1924. This movement marked a complete change from traditional painting. One of the most notable characteristics of this movement is the representation of reality and nature through geometric shapes. In addition, the artists of this movement didn’t include the concept of Renaissance perspective, that is, representing all points of view of the same object in a single plane.

Below, we take a look at some of the most famous cubist artists:

1. Pablo Picasso

The sculptor and painter from Malaga, along with George Braque, is one of the founders of Cubism. In fact, the movement is said to have started in 1907 with one of his works: Les Demoiselles d’Avignon. This painting belongs to the period known as “proto-Cubism”, during which Picasso discovered African art and delved into the work of Cézanne. A year later, using this work as a starting point, both artists continued to develop the foundations of the movement we know today as Cubism.

Guernica (Reina Sofia Museum), Three Musicians (MoMA) and The Weeping Woman (Tate Modern) are some of the most famous creations of the famous Spanish artist.

2. George Braque

George Braque, French painter and sculptor, joined the Fauvist movement after he visited an exhibition in 1905 and became so impressed by the works that he saw. But two years later, his friendship with Picasso and a retrospective exhibition dedicated to Cézanne marked a turning point in his artistic works. Proof of this is his painting Houses at l’Estaque, in which Braque uses the concept of cubes for the first time, as well as a reduced color tone.

Violin and Pitcher (San Francisco Museum of Modern Art), The Portuguese (Museum of Fine Arts, Basel) and Violin and Palette (Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum) are some of Braque’s most representative cubist works.

3. Juan Gris

Although he was born in Madrid, Gris developed a good part of his artistic career in Paris, where he met Picasso and Braque. Gradually, he put aside creating illustrations and entered the cubist movement. One of his main contributions to Cubism is the use of his collage technique. Unlike other cubist painters, his works also stand out for their use of color.

Some of his most outstanding paintings are: Portrait of Pablo Picasso (Art Institute of Chicago), The Bottle of Anis del Mono (Reina Sofia Museum) and The Smoker (Thyssen-Bornemisza National Museum).


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4. Fernand Léger

Fernand Léger is one of the most notable cubist painters in France. Like many other artists of the time, his first works were heavily influenced by the Impressionist movement. The exhibition dedicated to Cézanne in 1907 had a profound impact on Léger, and after he interacted with other cubist artists, his work started to change. He began to develop a style of his own, whose subject matter revolved mainly around “mechanical works”, depicting artifacts and robots based on cones and geometric figures. In addition to paintings, Léger also made mural paintings and stained-glass windows, as well as some contributions in the cinema and theater world.

Some of his most famous works are Woman with a Cat, Three Women, and Factories.

5. Albert Gleizes

Albert Gleizes not only stood out for his artistic skills, but also for being one of the main theorists of the movement. Along with Jean Metzinger, Gleizes published the book Du Cubisme in 1912, where they explained the bases of the new artistic movement. After the outbreak of the First World War, he moved to New York and later to Barcelona, dedicating part of his time to writing and even teaching, through conferences, seminars, etc. Upon his return to France, in the midst of a personal crisis, he managed to create a community of artists. During the Second World War, when his religious beliefs became stronger, he returned to making religious-themed creations. Many people believe that he established the foundations for the renewal of this type of art.

Woman with Animals (Guggenheim Museum, Venice), Composition for “Jazz” (Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum) and Portrait of Jacques Nayral (Tate Modern) are some of his most famous paintings.


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6. Jean Metzinger

Even though his early works were closer associated with neo-Impressionism and Fauvism styles, Metzinger was one of the artists who contributed the most to the spread of the cubist movement. Not only was he able to do this through his works, but Metzinger also did it with his writing. During this period, his works showed his love for mathematics (and the importance of mathematics in art), as well as the desire to show all sides of an object on the same plane. But, after World War I, like other artists of the time, his work showed a certain return to a classical style.

Some of his most outstanding works from the cubist period are: Dancer in a Café (Albright-Knox Museum), Nature Morte (Still Life) and Tea Time (Philadelphia Museum of Art).


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Also check out our list of the most outstanding Surrealist painters.

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