Georges Braque was born on May 13, 1882, in Argenteuil-sur-Seine, France. He grew up in Le Havre and took evening classes at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts from 1897 to 1899. He left for Paris to study under a master decorator and received a craftsmanship certificate in 1901. From 1902 to 1904, he painted at the Académie Humbert in Paris, where he met Marie Laurencin and Francis Picabia. By 1906, Braque distanced himself from Impressionism and joined the Fauve movement. After spending a summer in Antwerp with Othon Friesz, he showed his Fauve work the following year at the Salon des Indépendants in Paris. His first solo show was at D. H. Kahnweiler’s gallery in 1908. From 1909, Pablo Picasso and Braque worked together to develop Cubism; by 1911, their styles were extremely similar. In 1912, they started to incorporate collage elements into their paintings and to experiment with the papier collé (pasted paper) technique. Their artistic collaboration lasted until 1914. Braque served in the French army during World War I and was injured in battle. After recovering in 1917 he became close friends with Juan Gris.
After World War I, Braque’s work became freer and less schematic. His fame grew considerably in 1922 as a result of an important exhibition at the Salon d’Automne in Paris. In the mid-1920s Braque designed the sets for two of Sergei Diaghilev's ballets. By the end of the decade, he returned to a more objective interpretation of nature, although certain aspects of Cubism remained present in his work. In 1931, Braque made his first engraved plasters and began to portray mythological subjects. His first important retrospective took place in 1933 at the Kunsthalle Basel. He won First Prize at the Carnegie International, Pittsburgh, in 1937.
Braque remained in Paris throughout World War II. His paintings from that time, mostly still lifes and interior scenes, are more somber. In addition to paintings, Braque also made lithographs, engravings, and sculptures. From the late 1940s, he treated various recurring themes, such as birds, ateliers, landscapes, and seascapes. In 1954, he designed stained-glass windows for the church of Varengeville. During the last years of his life, Braque’s ill health prevented him from undertaking further large-scale commissions, but he continued to paint, make lithographs, and design jewelry. He died on August 31, 1963, in Paris.