Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque: Two


Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque: Two-Step Into the Future

With Analytical and Synthetic Cubism

-Changes in the art making process in the early 20 th century and how they affected the evolution of modern art.

Inspired by Picasso’s “Three Musicians”

Analytical Cubism 1909-1912

 Analyzed natural forms by reducing them to geometric shapes.

 Two-dimensional

 Distinction between figure and ground is obscured

 Monochromatic palette

 Viewpoint changes from one fixed point (like a camera) to multiple views of a subject shown simultaneously.

 Subject matter is deconstructed, broken down

Synthetic Cubism 1912-1919

 Use of added surfaces

 Collage-first use in fine art

 Papier colle’

 Texture

 Actual objects used to represent themselves.

 Subject matter is constructed, built up.


 Paul Cezanne retrospective exhibit 1907

 Attributed to Picasso, “He (Cezanne) was the grandfather of us all.”


 Signified a shift in what constitutes a piece of fine art. Picasso and Braque paved the way for a piece of art to be addressed as an object in and of itself.

 Subjective representation of subject matter.

 Everyday objects used in fine art legitimize emphasis on process and message.

 Jackson Pollock, Joseph Cornell

Other Disciplines

 Relativistic Physics-Einstein-shift from Newtonian absolute truths

 Analytic Philosophy-Bertrand Russel-logic and argument replace specific philosophical truths

Picasso’s “Three Musicians” Project Lesson Plan

Artwork: Pablo Picasso “Three Musicians”

Have the students take a good look at “Three Musicians” and ask them if they recognize anything they see in the painting. Ask them to identify differences between the way Picasso depicted the musicians and their instruments and the way they would try to do so if they were painting the picture.

Explain that Picasso separated pieces of information about his subjects and showed only certain parts and viewpoints he chose in the finished painting. He made the appearance of the painting itself more important than the depiction of his subjects in a realistic space.

Explain to the students that this painting looks like a collage but it is actually all painted. Picasso did add collaged pieces to his artwork. He used collage to build his subject matter in the composition.

Supplies: markers, scissors, glue sticks, wood grain paper (contact paper works great and is inexpensive), paper towel, newspaper, coloring sheets (attached), brown or black construction paper for background


Have the students add color and pattern to the “Three Musicians” coloring sheets as they choose.


Next, have them cut out, arrange and glue the shapes to the background in any way they like. Encourage them to try several ways to arrange the cutouts before they make a choice.


The students can add cloth, wood grain or musical notes to their compositions.

Other artwork to look at: Picasso’s “David Henry Kahnweiler”*, “Still

Life With Chair Caning”, “Man With a Pipe”*. Braque’s “Violin and

Palette”, “Bottle, Newspaper, Pipe and Glass”, “Still Life”* (1914) and

“Still Life”* (1919). Cezanne’s “Man Wearing a Straw Hat”*.

*Art Institute Collection