Georges Braque's style of painting forever transformed the world of art. He met Pablo Picasso around 1907, and together they would create a revolutionary manner of visualizing reality, breaking free from the traditional means of portraying perspective on a two-dimensional surface. Fishing Boats was produced during the first year of their close association. Soon the two artists formulated and produced the initial works of Analytical Cubism. The term Cubism came from French art critic Louis Vauxcelles, an enemy of the avant-garde. He described the early works of Braque and Picasso as reducing all elements to geometric diagrams or cubes. Fishing Boats depicts a typical fishing village on the Normandy coast, but Braque—eschewing a naturalistic or impressionistic rendering—chose to restrict his palette to subtle earth tones and to concentrate on the geometric shapes of boats and buildings. The paintings from this period helped to establish one of the significant developments in the history of 20th-century art.

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Georges Braque, French, 1882–1963
Fishing Boats
Barques de pêche
Oil on canvas
Canvas: 36 1/4 × 28 7/8 in. (92.1 × 73.3 cm) Frame: 48 1/4 × 40 7/8 in. (122.6 × 103.8 cm)
Credit Line

Gift of Audrey Jones Beck

Current Location
The Audrey Jones Beck Building
Accession Number

[Galerie Kahnweiler, Paris]; [Galerie Bernheim-Jeune, Paris, 1930]; Walter P. Chrysler, Jr., New York, by 1940; Mrs. Marius de Zayas, Greenwich, Connecticut, 1965; [Perls Galleries, New York]; [Parke-Bernet Galleries, New York, "Impressionist and Modern Paintings, Drawings, and Sculptures," December 8-9, 1965, lot 60]; Allan Bluestein, Washington, D.C., 1965; [Parke-Bernet Galleries, New York, "Highly Important Impressionist and Modern Paintings, Drawings, and Sculpture: The Property of Allan Bluestein, Washington, D.C.," April 3, 1968, lot 15]; Mr. John A. and Mrs. Audrey Jones Beck, Houston, 1968–1974; given to MFAH, 1974.