About this artwork
Born into a family of decorative and house painters, Georges Braque once remarked that his decision to become a painter was no more premeditated than his choosing to breathe. After apprenticing in his father’s shop and studying at an art school in his hometown of Le Havre, he went to Paris. In 1905, at the annual Salon d’Automne, he was confronted by the arresting paintings of Henri Matisse and others who had begun to employ vibrant, unmixed colors and energetic, rhythmic brushwork. The unbridled intensity of these works prompted a disapproving critic to call the artists “fauves” (wild beasts). Braque quickly joined the group.
Braque painted Landscape at L’Estaque on his first trip to this town on the French Mediterranean coast. He and other young artists were drawn to Provence, in southeastern France, because of its clear light and because of their reverence for the art of Paul Cézanne, who worked in and around the area until his death in 1906. Braque drew upon Cézanne’s use of faceted brushwork, distorted perspectives, and color to structure his compositions for this view down a steep, tree-lined road. Using a palette of highly saturated reds, oranges, and yellows, Braque evoked a sense of turbulent heat, despite the shade provided by the trees. Cézanne’s influence continued to exert itself over Braque in other, critical ways: in early 1908, he would join Pablo Picasso in the development of a revolutionary new style based on the formal construction that constitutes the core of Cézanne’s vision. That style would come to be known as Cubism.
—Entry, Master Paintings in the Art Institute of Chicago, 2013, p.102.
- Georges Braque
- Landscape at L'Estaque
- Oil on canvas
- Signed, l.l.: "G. Braque"
- 60.3 × 72.7 cm (23 3/4 × 28 5/8 in.)
- Purchased with funds provided by Friends of the Art Institute of Chicago in honor of Mary Block; Walter Aitken, Martha Leverone, and Major Acquisitions Centennial endowments
- © 2018 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris