CUBISM began as an idea and then it became a style. Based on Paul Cézanne’s three main ingredients—geometricity, simultaneity (multiple views) and passage—Cubism tried to describe, in visual terms, the concept of the fourth dimension, according to

Cubism is a kind of realism. It is a conceptual approach to realism in art, which aims to depict the world as it is and not as it seems.

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This was the “idea.” For example, pick up any ordinary cup. Chances are the mouth of the cup is round. Close your eyes and imagine the cup. The mouth is round.

It is always round—whether you are looking at the cup or remembering the cup. To depict the mouth as an oval is a falsehood, a mere device to create an optical illusion.

The mouth of a glass is not an oval; it is a circle. This circular form is its truth, its reality. The representation of a cup as a circle attached to the outline of its profile view communicates its concrete reality. In this respect, Cubism can be considered realism, in a conceptual, rather than perceptional way.

Key elements of cubism: The main element is geometricity, a simplification of figures and objects into geometrical components and planes that may or may not add up to the whole figure or object known in the natural world.

Here are the other elements: Approximation of the fourth dimension; conceptual, instead of perceptual, reality; distortion and deformation of known figures and forms in the natural world; passage, the overlapping and interpenetration of planes; and Simultaneity or multiple views, different points of view made visible on one plane.

Whose painting started cubism? Textbooks often cite Picasso’s “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon,” which was painted in 1907 (see photo)1907), as the first cubist painting.

This belief may be true, because the work displays the three essential ingredients in cubism: geometricity, simultaneity and passage.

Other art historians argue that Georges Braque’s series of L’Estaque landscapes executed in 1908 were the first cubist paintings. The art critic Louis Vauxcelles called these pictures nothing but little “cubes.”

Therefore, we might say that Braque’s work inspired the word cubism in terms of a recognizable style, but Picasso’s “Demoiselles d’Avignon” launched the principles of cubism through its ideas.