Author: Aleisha Olson

This lesson will discuss Cubism.

See More

Try Sophia’s Art History Course. For Free.

Our self-paced online courses are a great way to save time and money as you earn credits eligible for transfer to over 2,000 colleges and universities.*

Begin Free Trial
No credit card required

25 Sophia partners guarantee credit transfer.

226 Institutions have accepted or given pre-approval for credit transfer.

* The American Council on Education's College Credit Recommendation Service (ACE Credit®) has evaluated and recommended college credit for 21 of Sophia’s online courses. More than 2,000 colleges and universities consider ACE CREDIT recommendations in determining the applicability to their course and degree programs.


This lesson discusses the development of cubism, including the phases of analytic cubism and synthetic cubism, in the works of Picasso and Braque.


Image of Picasso, Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, Public Domain, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Les_Demoiselles_d%27Avignon.jpg; Image of Braque, Violin and Candlestick, Public Domain, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Violin_and_Candlestick.jpg; Image of Picasso, Still Life with Chair-Caning, Photo by jmussuto, Creative Commons, http://www.flickr.com/photos/jam2005/4679500680/

  • Cubism

    A 20th century art movement characterized by qualities of abstracted figures and forms, overlapping planes and facets, and colors that are often muted browns or monochromatic tones.

  • Analytic cubism

    A technique of inventing shapes and characteristics that would symbolize an object or person.

  • Synthetic cubism

    A technique that incorporates the methods of ‘analytic cubism’ but uses collage and actual overlapped materials to represent a metaphor for life and art.

  • Collage

    A French word meaning “a pasting,” it is artwork created by using the technique of layering unrelated scraps or fragments into a composition.