Frequently Asked Questions about Cubism

FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions about Cubism

Think of a jigsaw puzzle where someone’s rearranged all the pieces, except the subject of the puzzle is reality itself. That’s the essence of Cubism, an art movement that shattered traditional ways of seeing the world. Let’s tackle some common questions:

1. What exactly IS Cubism?

Cubism was revolutionary. Instead of showing objects from a single fixed viewpoint, Cubist artists like Picasso and Braque fractured their subjects, showing them from multiple angles at once. It’s like seeing the front, side, and even the inside of an object simultaneously, all flattened onto a canvas.

2. Why did they paint like that?

Cubists aimed to go beyond simply replicating what our eyes see. They wanted to capture the idea of something, its essence, from all possible angles at once. Think about it: when you think of a coffee cup, you don’t picture it from just one side, do you? Your mind holds a more complex understanding of its shape and form.

3. Who were the main players?

Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque are the undisputed heavyweights of Cubism. Other key figures include Juan Gris, Fernand Léger, and Robert Delaunay.

4. Was there just one kind of Cubism?

Nope! It evolved:

  • Analytical Cubism: Early on, think muted colors and fragmented forms. It’s almost like analyzing the subject under a microscope.
  • Synthetic Cubism: Later, it got bolder with bright colors, collage elements (like bits of newspaper), and a greater sense of playfulness.

5. But… is it pretty?

Beauty is subjective, but Cubism isn’t about traditional prettiness. It’s intellectually captivating. It makes you think differently about space, form, and how we perceive the world around us.

6. Did Cubism affect anything other than painting?

Absolutely! Its influence spilled into sculpture, architecture, even literature. The idea of breaking down and reassembling forms echoed through many creative fields.

7. Why should I care about some old art movement?

Cubism was a game-changer. It challenged centuries of artistic tradition and paved the way for modern art’s wild experimentation. Plus, understanding Cubism helps you “decode” a lot of later abstract art that might otherwise seem baffling.

Action Time!

Cubism is best experienced firsthand. Here’s your mission:

  • Art adventure: Check out Cubist works at a museum or online. Let your initial confusion fade, then try to ‘reassemble’ the subject in your mind’s eye.
  • Cubist for a day: Draw a simple still life in the Cubist style – a fruit bowl, a vase. Embrace the fragmented perspective!

The more you engage with Cubism, the more surprising and fascinating it becomes. Let this just be the starting point of your exploration!

Why Should You Care?

  • Expanding your artistic lens: Learning about Cubism expands your understanding of how artists can portray the world, stretching beyond just realistic ‘snapshots.’
  • Appreciating influential art: Cubism was a turning point in art history. Its influence is still felt today, shaping how we think about creative expression.
  • Sharpening critical thinking: Engaging with Cubism challenges you to look beyond the surface and decipher complex visual ideas.

Key Takeaways

  • Cubism shattered perspective: Artists presented objects from multiple viewpoints simultaneously, defying traditional single-point perspectives.
  • It’s about ideas, not just appearances: Cubists aimed to capture the essence of a subject, not just how it looks from one specific angle.
  • Picasso and Braque led the charge: These two artists were the pioneers of the Cubist movement.
  • Cubism evolved: It has phases – Analytical Cubism (muted, fragmented) and Synthetic Cubism (brighter, collage elements).
  • Its impact was widespread: Cubism influenced not just painting, but sculpture, architecture, and other creative fields.


  1. Cubism: Early 20th-century art movement focused on fragmented forms and multiple perspectives.
  2. Perspective: The illusion of depth and space on a flat surface, a technique Cubists rebelled against.
  3. Pablo Picasso: Spanish artist, co-founder of Cubism, one of art history’s most influential figures.
  4. Georges Braque: French painter, co-founder of Cubism alongside Picasso.
  5. Analytical Cubism: Early phase of Cubism with subdued colors and highly fragmented forms.
  6. Synthetic Cubism: Later Cubism, with bolder colors, playful shapes, and collage elements.
  7. Collage: Technique of incorporating real-world materials like newspaper into artwork, prominent in Synthetic Cubism.
  8. Fragmentation: Breaking down an object into geometric shapes, showing multiple views at once.
  9. Abstract Art: Art that doesn’t directly represent reality, focusing on form, color, and structure.
  10. Modern Art: Breakaway from traditional artistic styles, embracing experimentation (Cubism is a key part of this movement).

Myth Buster

  • Myth: Cubist art is just ugly and messy. Reality: Cubism is thought-provoking and complex. It asks the viewer to participate in reassembling the subject and find a new kind of visual understanding.

Let’s Talk

  • Do you find Cubist art visually appealing? Or is it more intellectually interesting to you?
  • Can you think of modern art examples that seem inspired by Cubism?
  • If you could ask Picasso or Braque anything about their art, what would it be?

Let’s keep the conversation going! Share your thoughts in the comments below.


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<a href="" target="_self">Danny Ballan</a>

Danny Ballan


Danny is a podcaster, teacher, and writer. He worked in educational technology for over a decade. He creates daily podcasts, online courses, educational videos, educational games, and he also writes poetry, novels and music.

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