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Cubism

Admission free | Advance booking required

About

All of our Gallery buildings are closed until 1 February, in line with Scottish Government restrictions. The grounds at Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art are open. Horsebox pop-up cafe outside Modern Two is open. Modern One closed until 27 March

Cubist art emerged in Paris around 1907. The two main ‘inventors’ of Cubism were the French painter Georges Braque (1882–1963) and the Spaniard Pablo Picasso (1881–1973). The term ‘Cubism’ originated in a derogatory remark made by an art critic in 1908: he said that Braque reduced everything ‘to geometric outlines, to cubes’. The term ‘Cubism’ soon came into widespread use, although in fact Cubist paintings rarely feature cubes. The term ‘Cubism’ soon came into widespread use.

Within a few years, a small group of artists based in Paris, including Fernand Léger, Robert Delaunay and Sonia Delaunay, were following the lead of Braque and Picasso. They wanted to emphasise that a painting is a flat surface while the things they represented were three-dimensional. Instead of choosing a fixed perspective, and presenting views as if seen through a window, they painted a motif as if seen from several different angles at once. This dynamic, modern approach introduced a time factor, since it implied that the artist had moved around the subject. It was a style geared to the modern world of speed and rapid change.

The Cubist style quickly spread across Europe and America and was particularly popular in Russia, where it accorded with new Revolutionary ideals. Cubism splintered into different styles in different countries: the Italians had Futurism; the British had Vorticism; the Russians had Suprematism and Constructivism. All these different offshoots developed from Cubism – making it probably the most radical and influential art movement of the twentieth century.

Image: Georges Braque, Le Bougeoir [The Candlestick], 1911 © ADAGP, Paris and DACS, London 2016.

Event accessibility

Display accessibility

  • Wheelchair access

Location

Gallery facilities

A full accessibility guide is available at www.accessibilityguides.org for Modern One and Modern Two.

Parking for visitors is available at both Modern One and Modern Two. A donation is requested of £3 for up to 4 hours and £6 for 4-8 hours. Our payment meters have contactless capability.

  • Wheelchair access
  • Disabled parking
  • Bike rack
  • Parking

Getting here

The Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art is located 15 minutes’ walk from Princes Street. It includes two buildings, Modern One and Modern Two, set in a beautiful sculpture park.

In addition to the transport options below there are bike racks at each site and Just Eat Cycle Hire stations nearby.

75 Belford Road, Edinburgh, EH4 3DR.
Modern One Closed until 27 March
Modern Two Closed until 1 February

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Book your visit to Modern One

Book your visit to Modern One

We will be limiting the number of visitors in each gallery at any one time. To manage this we've instituted a free, timed ticketing system for both venues.

Admission is free, but tickets must be booked in advance.

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