Backstage at the Grand Palais in Paris they have been busy preparing for this autumn’s retrospective which explores the life of painter Georges Braque who died 50 years ago.
A total of 260 pieces from some 23 countries are on display at the exhibition.
Brigitte Leal has been preparing the exhibition for two years. It has been designed as a chronological journey starting with Fauvism in 1906.
Brigitte explained: “It’s an impressive introduction to his creations because he went on to be a great painter of landscapes, a great colourist. These are paintings that explode with colour, colours that have nothing to do with the colours you see in nature, and that is where we see there is real invention.”
In 1907 Braque met Picasso, and while the Frenchman could be as reserved as the Spaniard was exuberant their collaboration gave birth to Cubism.
“Braque said they shared a common adventure, like mountain climbers, meaning that every advancement was supported by the advance of the other” said Brigitte. “They told their dealer they didn’t want to sign their paintings because they couldn’t identify anymore which piece was done by who.”
Their paths separated with the start of the First World War but Braque tirelessly continued his work.
He experimented with the collage technique, introducing pieces of cardboard and newspaper into his paintings. He also worked with unusual materials, adding earth and sand to his palette.
Braque probably never received the fame he deserved, but in the footsteps of Paul Cézanne this pioneer marked the pathway for painting in the 20th century.