Synthetic Cubism

Braque’s work during and after the papiers collés period incorporated the lessons he had learned from that technique and moved Cubism forward into a more legible form known as Synthetic Cubism. The orthogonal grid of extended planes is still present, but now it features solid blocks of color—dark, patterned, or faux-bois—that imitate the papiers collés. Both Picasso and Braque also included sand, curved lines, and figurative details in their works during this period, which coincided with the outbreak of World War I, a major turning point in Braque’s oeuvre. In 1915 the artist was wounded and given up for dead at Neuville-Saint-Vaast, but after a lengthy convalescence he finally resumed painting in 1917. The conflict also affected those around him: his German-born dealer Kahnweiler was forced to flee to Switzerland, and from then on Léonce Rosenberg would be Braque’s representative. In 1917, his friend Picasso set off on his European adventure with the Ballets Russes.