Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque developed cubism during the first decades of the 20th century. The movement went through several phases. Violin is an example of analytical cubism. During this phase the figure or object is dissected, broken into fragments and depicted from multiple viewpoints.
Network of surfaces
The illusion of a natural perspective disappears completely. Instead, a network of surfaces placed next to and behind each other is created, separated by lines and shadows. Typical of analytical cubism is that the composition is built up from the middle and ‘fades out’ towards the edges. The oval shape of the painting is also striking.
Experiment met the form
In this painting, the starting point, the violin, only remains recognizable in a few areas: the curl of the neck, the strings, the bridge, the curvature of the body and the shape of the f-holes. The colours are muted and limited to ochre, brown and grey. All the attention is focused on the experimentation with the form.