I have selected these two images which I think are fantastic examples of Optical Illusion
Image 1: Count the black dots; there aren’t any!
Image 2: Focus on the small black dot, move your head back and forth, the two circles seem to move in opposite directions.
“Everything in nature takes its form from the sphere, the cone, and the cylinder.”
Paul Cezanne, post Impressionist painter who is considered by many a bridge between Impressionism and Cubism.
Sometime in the early 20th century between 1909 and 1912, Pablo Picasso along with George Braque developed a new style of painting. In 1907 Picasso departed from his regular style to something new when he painted “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon”. Little did he realize that he was redefining art as the Impressionists or the Renaissance artists saw it.
Les Demoiselles d’Avignon was very different from what the art world had seen until then. It was considered bizzare, shocking and ridiculous by art critics of that period. It depicted five nudes, irregular human figures with angular disjointed body shapes, with mask like faces and sharp angular forms. The over all effect was a fractured and distorted image. This controversial painting led to strong reactions in the art community and in spite of huge criticism the painting earned a place in art history as the beginning of a new era of Cubism and modern art.
Around that time George Braque a painter and sculptor painted ‘Houses at L’Estaque in 1908. Consisting of what looked like little cubes, this style was very similar to Picasso’s style.
In both Picasso and Braque’s paintings there were two very distinct features of Cubism. Both used multiple perspectives and portrayal of three dimensional objects on two dimensional objects where the objects were flattened out. This approach to painting was revolutionary as it brought together concepts of space and time and a multitude of pespectives in a single painting. Cubists believed that single perspective drawings were too restrictive and wanted to reach ‘beyond the rigid geometry of perspective’ to paint the world as it is and not as it seems to be. Cubist painters drew what they believed was the sum of different angles of an object and its memory. They still drew real people and real objects but reconstructed using composition of planes, colours and forms. They used more and more of geometric shapes and edges to define objects. So paintings with faces where the eyes looked frontal and nose drawn sideways became predominant.
Some articles suggest that Cubism was in response to a new modern era that saw the birth of photography, cinematography, telephone and motor car. Paintings were no longer needed to document; camera’s did it for people. There are readings that suggest that the Cubists believed that the traditions of Western art were exhausted and resorted to art forms in other cultures for inspiration. Pablo Picasso’ss ‘Head of a Woman ( 1907 ) is an excellent example of this.
Cubism was further divided into two - Analytic Cubism (1907-1912) and Synthetic Cubism (1913-1920s). Analytic Cubism paintings were characterised by rigidly geometric shapes and compositions which were subtle, intricate and often hard to decipher.
Synthetic Cubism on the other hand was more experimental and collage like in nature which involved construction process as against the Analytic Cubism approach of deconstruction. It was characterised by more decorative approach and these painting were much easier to interpret.These were composed of fewer and simpler forms.
While Picasso and Braque worked very closely to explore and to develop Cubism as a new visual language, it was adopted and further developed by many painters including Fernand Léger, Robert and Sonia Delaunay and Juan Gris.
Perhaps the most significant contribution of Cubism movement was the use of multiple perspectives and use of geometrical shapes and a multitude of planes to define an object. Principles of Cubism as an art form continue to be used by several contemporary artists. Cubism had immense influence on the 20th century sculpture and architecture.
(My first experiments with sketching recently began with looking at objects and imagining them in geometrical shapes without realizing Cubism was based on these characteristics. I found this very interesting and decided to do this essay that has helped me in the understanding of Cubism.)
Sack practice. Copied this from somewhere.
Coffee Cup Sketch