This is my fourth daily posting concerning inspirations in art.
Yesterday, I focused on Piet Mondrian, who counted Cubism among his main influences. Today, I have moved on to one of the two main Cubist influencers, Georges Braque (b. 1882 – d. 1963). The great Picasso would perhaps have been a more obvious choice but it’s actually Braque’s style that truly inspires.
I first heard about Braque through his involvement in the highly colour-saturated Fauve Art movement while I was studying art in London in the early nineties.
The Fauve Art movement (Fauve meaning ‘wild beast) had its main surge just after the turn of the 20th Century. Other notable artists include Matisse and Derain.
While his Fauve Art is stunning, it’s his Cubist era paintings that I find truly inspirational. And the painting I have studied in great detail for this exercise hails from this era, namely his masterpiece, Cubist Landscape.
I have chosen this painting primarily because I love the simplified colour palette of golds, russets, and turquoise verging on emerald. It is very reminiscent of Tuscany, or perhaps Aix-en-Provence, two locations that have inspired many artists throughout recent art history.
My secondary reason for loving this painting is its powerful interpretation of geometry.
Quite possibly, Braque’s love of architectural forms helped me to see the industrial landscape of the Welsh Valleys in a more sympathetic light – I moved to Swansea in order to complete an Art degree in the mid-to-late nineties.
During my time in Swansea, I placed particular emphasis on drawing the townscapes of the surrounding area. I liked to sketch the rows of terraces. I felt particularly inspired by the Pontrhydyfen Viaduct; a structure which is truly a monument to Victorian era engineering, and which I visited on many occasions. But again, I digress.
Most importantly, I see this painting as a celebration of how nature can embrace the man-made. I wonder if you agree with me on that?
Thanks for reading. Feel free to comment.