Key points

  • Cubism is a form of abstract art.
  • Cubism was developed as a way of portraying multiple dimensions and perspectives of a subject or object onto a two dimensional canvas.
  • Spanish artist Pablo Picasso and French artist Georges Braque pioneered the art form in 1907. The movement was also influenced by the earlier work of French artist Paul Cézanne.
  • There are two styles of cubism. Analytic cubism uses geometrical forms and subdued colours. Synthetic cubism draws on decorative shapes, collage and bright colours.
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John Power, Seaside Still Life, 1926 - an Australian example of cubism.

JW Power Seaside Still Life, 1926. JW Power Collection, University of Sydney, managed by Museum of Contemporary Art, Mrs Edith Power Bequest 1961.



Abstract art

  • Any artwork that does not truly represent what it is depicting can be classified as abstract. Abstract art depicts forms in a conceptual manner.


  • Cubism contributed to later forms of abstract art. Most cubist artworks show items as geometric solids or outlines.
  • The cubist work of Spanish artist Pablo Picasso and French artist Georges Braque was influenced by the earlier work of artist Paul Cezanne, who said: "Everything in nature takes its form from the sphere, the cone, and the cylinder".

Forms of cubism

  • Cubism can broadly be broken up into two sub-categories.
  • Analytic cubism was the first phase of cubism and lasted until about 1912. Subjects were reconstructed in a number of intricate, sometimes interlocking geometric forms. A muted, limited colour palette unified the images.
  • The second phase of cubism was known as synthetic cubism. This phase was more colourful and decorative, and incorporated the use of different textures and materials.


More information


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Doing it by the book

As a parent it's only natural to want to help your child, but when it comes to homework and study, the completed work should be theirs.

Here are some important points to remember to ensure your child is following good practice for a lifetime of learning.