Houses at l'Estaque

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Houses at l'Estaque
Georges Braque, 1908, Maisons et arbre, oil on canvas, 40.5 x 32.5 cm, Lille Métropole Museum of Modern, Contemporary and Outsider Art.jpg
ArtistGeorges Braque
MediumOil on canvas
Dimensions40.5 cm × 32.5 cm (15.9 in × 12.7 in)
LocationLille Métropole Museum of Modern, Contemporary and Outsider Art[1]

Houses at l'Estaque (French: Maisons à l'Estaque, or Maisons et arbre) is a 1908 oil painting by Georges Braque. It is considered either an important Proto-Cubist landscape[2] or the first Cubist landscape;[3] the painting prompted art critic Louis Vauxcelles to mock it as being composed of cubes which led to the name of the movement.[4]

It is a response to works by Paul Cézanne who also lived in L'Estaque at times.[5]


This painting by Braque was refused at the Salon d'Automne in 1908. Louis Vauxcelles recounted how Matisse told him at the time, "Braque has just sent in [to the 1908 Salon d'Automne] a painting made of little cubes";[6] the critic Charles Morice relayed Matisse's words and spoke of Braque's little cubes. The motif of the viaduct at l'Estaque had inspired Braque to produce three paintings marked by the simplification of form and deconstruction of perspective.[7] Six landscapes painted at L'Estaque signed Georges Braque were presented to the Jury of the Salon d'Automne: Guérin, Marquet, Rouault and Matisse rejected Braque's entire submission. Guérin and Marquet elected to keep two in play. Braque withdrew the two in protest, placing the blame on Matisse.[6]

Georges Braque, 1908, Maisons à l'Estaque (Houses at l'Estaque), oil on canvas, 73 x 59.5 cm, Kunstmuseum Bern

Houses at l'Estaque is a Proto-Cubist painting consisting both of Cézannian trees and houses depicted in the absence of any unifying perspective. Houses in the background do, however, appear smaller than those of the foreground, consistent with classical perspective. Following the rejection of Braque's paintings, Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler offers the artist a one-person show at his gallery on a small street situated behind La Madeleine, Paris. Apollinaire writes of the paintings exhibited nothing about cubes, but mentions "the synthetic motifs he paints" and that he "no longer owes anything to his surroundings", it was Vauxcelles who called Braque a daring man who despises form, "reducing everything, places and a figures and houses, to geometric schemas, to cubes.[6]

Published in 1919[edit]

Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler, Der Weg zum Kubismus, published 1920 by Delphin in München. Written in German. Title: Haus in l’Estaque. Dated 1908. Cit. n° 18, p. 61.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Lille Métropole Museum of Modern, Contemporary and Outsider Art
  2. ^ Ganteführer-Trier, Anne; Grosenick, Uta (2004). Cubism Taschen 9783822829585
  3. ^ Kuiper, Kathleen (2009). The Britannica Guide to Theories and Ideas That Changed the Modern World. The Rosen Publishing Group, ISBN 9781615300631
  4. ^ Chilvers, Ian; Glaves-Smith, John (2009). A Dictionary of Modern and Contemporary Art. Oxford University Press, ISBN 9780199239658
  5. ^ Green, Christopher (2003). Art in France, 1900-1940. Yale University Press, ISBN 9780300099089
  6. ^ a b c Alex Danchev, Georges Braques: A Life, Arcade Publishing, 15 nov. 2005
  7. ^ Futurism in Paris - The Avant-garde Explosion, Pompidou Center, Paris 2008

External links[edit]