What is Cubism? ARTnews Explains the Art Movement – ARTnews.com

Most people have heard of Cubism and probably even have a fair idea of what a Cubist painting looks like. But aside from understanding that it has something to do with modern art, the public has generally underappreciated the extent of Cubism’s revolutionary transformation of the Western tradition in art—which is to say the specific canon that evolved in Europe over a 500-year period starting in the 15th century.

Cubism’s emergence in the early 1900s signaled a seismic break with artistic tenets that had held sway since the revival of Greco-Roman art during the Renaissance. While those conventions had been under assault for much of the 19th century, Cubism delivered the final blow, paving the way for the avant-garde movements that followed.

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