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French artist Georges Braque was born on 13 May 1882 in Argenteuil, Val-d’Oise and grew up in Le Havre. Braque was a major 20th Century collagist, painter, printmaker, sculptor and draughtsman. Braque studied painting and decorating like his father, and grandfather before him, but soon found an interest in more serious painting, studying it in the evenings alongside his work at École des Beaux-Arts in Le Havre.

Braque’s work was initially impressionistic, and he painted a series of landscapes, inspired by a childhood spent in Normandy. However, in 1905 after seeing an exhibition of Fauvist work (a group of artists, at the time including Matisse and Deraine), he was inspired to try this style; using bold colours and loose form to create an emotional response.

Between 1908 and 1912, Braque became closely associated with Picasso, becoming fast friends. They met in 1907 and over the course of 1908 and 1909, they ventured together in an unprecedented, mutually inspired way to create the world of Cubism. The style produced paintings using monochromatic colour schemes and complex patterns. Though their respective works were often considered indistinguishable at the time, it is said that Braque’s quiet success was eclipsed by the rising fame of Picasso.

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