Georges Braque was born on May 13, 1882, in Argenteuil-sur-Seine, France. In 1890 his parents moved to Le Havre, where Braque would follow evening classes at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts from 1897 to 1899. At the age of 19, he left for Paris to get his craftsman certificate.
From 1902 to 1904, he painted at the Académie Humbert in Paris, where he met Marie Laurencin and Francis Picabia. By 1906, Braque’s work was no longer Impressionist but Fauve in style; after spending that summer in Antwerp with Othon Friesz, he showed his Fauve work the following year in the Salon des Indépendants in Paris.
From 1909, Pablo Picasso and Braque worked together in developing Cubism. By 1911, their styles were extremely similar. In 1912, they started to incorporate collage elements into their paintings and to experiment with the papier collé technique. Their artistic collaboration lasted until 1914.
Braque served in the French army during World War I where he was wounded. Upon his recovery in 1917, he began a close friendship with Juan Gris.
After World War I, Braque’s work became freer and less schematic. His fame grew in 1922 as a result of an exhibition at the Salon d’Automne in Paris.
In the mid-1920s, Braque designed the decor for two Sergei Diaghilev ballets. By the end of the decade, he had returned to a more realistic interpretation of nature, although certain aspects of Cubism remained present in his work. His first important retrospective took place in 1933 at the Kunsthalle Basel.
During World War II, Braque remained in Paris. His paintings at that time, primarily still lifes and interiors, became more somber. In addition to paintings, Braque also made lithographs, engravings, and sculptures. From the late 1940s, he treated various recurring themes, such as birds, ateliers, landscapes, and seascapes. In 1954, he designed stained-glass windows for the church of Varengeville.
During the last few years of his life, Braque’s ill health prevented him from undertaking further large-scale commissions, but he continued to paint, make lithographs, and design jewelry. He died on August 31, 1963, in Paris.