Olive Trees

Credit: © Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/ADAGP, Paris
Georges Braque 1882-1963

Olive Trees
  Oil on canvas

Gift from the estate of Mrs. Aldus Chapin Higgins

Copyright Notice

Early in his career Braque was attracted to a group of painters who came to be known as Les Fauves (The Wild Beasts). Under the leadership of Henri Matisse and Andre Derain, the Fauvist painters worked in an expressive style characterized by bold distortion of forms and extremely intense colors. This painting was produced near the small French village of La Ciotat, a few miles east of Marseilles, where Braque took full advantage of the brilliant Mediterranean light. Unlike the preceding generation of artists-the Impressionists, who focused on capturing the natural effects of light and atmosphere-Braque and his contemporaries aimed at expressing their own feelings toward their subjects. The Worcester painting exhibits a wide range of dramatically intense colors that go far beyond an objective look at nature. After 1907, Braque took a different direction in art; and leaving behind the swirling lines, decorative colors, and subjective qualities of Fauvist paintings, he joined Picasso in pioneering the Cubist movement.