Throughout Stein, an American art critic, who is

Throughout history, art has always been an indispensable part of human’s society. From the beginning

of time until the development of technology, artworks all around the world have greatly dedicated to the
prosperity of our civilization. It is undeniable that without art, our world would gradually lose its beauty and
love. As time kept passing by, art continues to fulfill its important mission, thanks to the perpetuating passion
that artists have in what they are doing. And a typical artist who has poured all of his heart into every single
artwork of his and left invaluable treasures to the art world, who is considered one of the most influential artists
of the 20th century is Pablo Picasso. There are several phrases to the course of his artistic career. However, it
could be said that Cubism is the most revolutionizing movement that has contributed greatly to the history of art.
It has opened us up to different ways of looking at art that we have never seen before.

The birth and development of Cubism are quite tumultuous, though fascinating. From 1907 to 1914,
Pablo Picasso and George Braque have collaborated to create Cubism. In 1908, at the L’Estaque in emulation of
Ce?zanne , the name of the style was created from Louis Vauxcelles’s comment on Braque’s landscape paintings
as he regarded the forms of geometry in Braque’s pieces as “cubes”. The beginning of cubism is said to have
been inspired by Primitivism as well as art that come from countries that are out of the West. One example of
this is the Demoiselles d’Avignon, which was a painting of Picasso in 1907. The painting was influenced by
African Art, and probably by his visit to an ethnographic museum in Paris (Rewald) . Nevertheless, at the time,
not everyone finds Cubism acceptable, including Leo’s Stein, an American art critic, who is also the brother of
Gertrude Stein, an enthusiastic supporter of Picasso. He called the painting “a horrible mess” (Giroud 35-38) .
This way of thinking is understandable because Cubism disregards principles that are deemed traditional in
painting. The objectives of Cubist artists was to embrace the canvas’ sense of two-dimensionality. They did not
think that artist should follow the conventional ways of doing perspective and depth or imitating the nature. That
is the reason why they broke objects down into forms of geometry and rearrange them into a space that is
shallower. Many vantage points are also utilized in Cubism. As we can see, the story about the rise of Cubism is

quite interesting because we can see the challenge it faced, and how it challenged the old ways of thinking in art


As time flew by, Cubism continued to be the topic of research and analyzation from many scholars of
different fields, which has revealed even more extraordinary things about this movement, particular his use of
principles to create Cubism, and how Cubism has left legacy for the future advancement of art, by using the
geometry principles from a seemingly unrelated field – science. There is a possibility that Picasso has used
photographs to explore space and then he also applied the rules of fourth-dimension into his visual construction
of space. This unique appropriation of was seen by researchers to have some relationship to Picasso’s artistic
experimentations, particularly in the year of 1909. Critics have viewed this period as the time he “produced the
most important paintings of his early Cubist Period”. A technique of geometric faceting, which is quite logical,
is being consolidated by the analysis of Picasso of Cezanne’s moving perspectives. It has also been pinpointed
by another critic that photography has probably contributed significantly to perspectives as well as the visual
planes’ formation. The creation of those elements has become the things that characterizes the developed style
of Picasso’s Cubism (Ambrosio 211-212) . As can be seen, Picasso must have applied many incredible things on
his journey to the creation of Cubism.

Photography has speculated to have some contributions to the birth of Cubism. Also the rigorous year
of 1909, Picasso has planned a special trip to Horta de Ebro during the summer to incorporate photography into
painting. Picasso went on this trip with his mistress at the moment, Fernande Olivier. Picasso photographed
several landscape photos on his trip to Spain, as well as some other of the inside of his studio. Critics have
noticed that among those photos of Picasso’s studio interior, there are some that “provided a kind of
spatiotemporal pre?cis of the work in progress”. These photographs might also be relevant to his perpetuating
enthusiasm in changing his artworks creatively, as can be said as ‘the conceptual transformations in the work
itself and in relation to other works’. It is not clear what is the main concentration of Picasso photographs of his
own studio, but because it is not completely clear, the photos became even more fascinating. The photos’
composition has a sense of pictorial premeditated disharmony created by the arrangement of the paintings whose
sizes are not similar. Picasso even created the combination of four paintings to compose one photo by laying one
negative photo over another one (Ambrosio 212) . Evidently, photography might have dedicated its part to the
establishment of Cubism by assisting Picasso in exploring and understanding space, even though it is not often
celebrated and mentioned in the success of the movement.

There is one photo from the studio photo group that can unveil the source of Cubism. The photo is
unconventional and special because of its collation of four finished portraits of various sizes, and some other
sketches. On the left side of this photo, there is a smaller portrait. Right above it, there are several drawings.
Picasso’s paintings that are caught in photos are usually talked about very often, but this is not the case with this
piece. In literature, the piece is not mentioned a lot, and so its name is not exactly identified. It was a portrait of
his lover Fernande. Picasso has captured her torment in it. At the time, her kidney got infected, which left her in
pain for a good part of her Horta trip. Picasso did not care about her situation very much, but instead, he utilized
it for his creative aim. Even though the work has not been discussed much in books, it has some association with
geometry, namely in the composition. Geometry is an even bigger focus in this piece than in the work “Seated
Woman”, the bigger work in this photo that takes even more space in the photograph. The planes that are bent
and shaded makes up the head of Fernande, while her eyes carry the shape of diamonds. Those eyes rise from
the eye sockets that have geometric spots. Her nose is a chunk that is a little bit tilted. Her cheekbones are
geometrically sharp and they break her face into a number of picture planes that are separate. Her face is framed
by a mantilla that is also simplified into geometric shapes. The other sketches on the wall, when being observed
carefully, can show that before putting the shapes of geometry together, Picasso has worked on each element of
the composition. That seems to be what he did for not only this painting but also the ones that are around it.
Nevertheless, it is easier to recognize that the reconstruction in terms of concepts of dimensional association. It
has become the characteristic of this painting are eye-captivating and might have been visually inspired by
Jouffret Traite?. All of those investigations make it become more surprising that literature has not given it much
attention when it comes to Cubist geometry. The fact that Picasso’s way of constructing this piece is
representative of multiple perspectives and picture planes intersection, is relatively noticeable. What is more
interesting is that this component has also been pointed out in a painting of Picasso in 1910, which is called
“Portrait of Ambroise Vollard”. This discovery connects this piece to the four-dimensional solid projections of
Esprit Jouffret. It is argued that there was a visual similarity between Cubist geometry, which includes the
multiple viewpoints and other documentaries, namely Jouffret’s Traite?. Despite being known later, artists of
Cubism has utilized it, as said by Henderson “If someone familiar with n-dimensional geometry, such as
Maurice Princet had pointed out a visual similarity between Picasso’s latest painting and a geometrical diagram
such as Jouffret’s, it would have seemed to confirm the direction Cubism had taken.” Therefore, it might make
more sense if the beginning time of Cubism is pinned in 1910, rather than 1907, which is earlier. Picasso’s

painting of his mistress is an example of the direction of geometry being applied as well as the possible use of
Jouffret’s Traite? before the Portrait of Ambroise Vollard is finished (Ambrosio 212-213) . It is incredible how a
photograph can reveal so much about one of the greatest art movements of the 20th century.

As our history progresses, Cubism continues to prove its place in our society. Cubism was claimed, by
the Metropolitan Museum of Art as “the most influential art movement of the early 20th century,” and the
museum itself also held an exhibition of approximately 80 Cubist artworks. This statement has proved itself to
be correct as “Femme assise”, a painting Picasso created with the subject of his lover Fernande Olivier, has been
sold for approximately $63.6 million, or $61.3 million with fees. Before this, in 1997, “Femme assise dans un
fauteuil (Eva)”, a Cubist oil painting of Picasso that was painted in 1913, one that is museum-quality, was also
sold for $24.8 million. However, the prices offered for those paintings above are still nothing compared to the
amount of money paid for “Les Femmes d’Alger (Version ‘O’) in May 2015, which was $179.4 million
(Reyburn) . Even though Cubism is often thought of as not-easy-to-sell, once its paintings are bid, it has proven
its place in the history of art as one of the peak time of creativity, not only for Picasso but also for generations of

It takes a lot of talent, a lot of hard work to create such a wonderful movement, an amazing art style
like Cubism. It has introduced us to new ways of perceiving our surroundings and helped us to become more
flexible in terms of viewing our world. Cubism is unique because of the intellectuality lying in the way that it is
formed, namely Picasso’s use of the principles of fourth dimensions. It is different because of its palette that is
often simple, monochromatic but still wonderfully efficient. Cubism’s contributions to the art are undeniable,
and it will always hold a high place in the art world, in particular, and in our past, contemporary, and future
society, in general.