Synthetic Cubism

Synthetic Cubism

Synthetic Cubism is the subsequent stage of cubism, from approximately 1912 to 1914, known for its simplified forms and vibrant colours.

The Cubist movement is typically split into two distinct phases: Analytic Cubism then Synthetic Cubism.

In this new phase, Synthetic Cubists explored collage techniques, incorporating newspaper prints and patterns into their work, departing from the multi-perspective approach of Analytic Cubism and opting for more ‘flattened out’ imagery, removing the earlier references to three-dimensional space.

Synthetic Cubism featured a broader colour palette, simpler geometric planes, and more recognisable subject matter. To achieve their artistic goals, the Synthetic Cubists ‘synthesised’ various mixed media through collage and their distinctive papier collé technique. It’s generally believed that Synthetic Cubism was most popular around 1914, coinciding with the outbreak of World War I, which led many French artists, including Braque, to leave their studios and join the war effort.

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Parra's studio, with Parra at the centre, his back to the camera as he works on the large painting takes centre stage, showing a faceless blue woman in a striped dress, painted in red, purple, blue and teal. The studio is full of brightly coloured paints, with a large window on the right and a patterned rug across the floor under the painting.