Synthetic Cubism is a period in the art movement of Cubism that lasted from 1913 to 1914.
Led by two famous Cubist painters, this phase became a popular art style characterised by the following features:
Simple forms, bright colours and little to no pictorial depth.
Synthetic Cubism was also the birth of collage art, in which real objects were integrated into the paintings.
Synthetic cubism developed from analytical cubism. It was developed by Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque and then copied by the Salon Cubists. Many art historians consider Picasso's "Guitar" series as an ideal example of the transition between the two periods of Cubism.
Picasso and Braque discovered that by repeating "analytical" signs, their work became generalised, geometrically simplified and flatter. This took what they were doing in analytical Cubism to a new level, because it discarded the idea of three-dimensionality in their work.
At first glance, the most striking change in Analytic Cubism is the colour palette. In the previous period, colours were very muted and many earth tones dominated the paintings.
As part of their experiments, the artists used a variety of techniques to achieve their goals. They regularly used colour overlaps of several planes to challenge the concept of dimensionality.
Instead of painting two-dimensional representations of paper, real pieces of paper were used and real musical scores replaced drawn musical notes, mixing the dimensionality of sculpture with that of a painting.
The artists used almost everything in their work: from fragments of newspapers and playing cards, to cigarette packets and advertisements. These were either real or painted on and interacted on the flat plane of the canvas as the artists tried to achieve a total interpenetration of life and art.
The invention of the collage, combining drawings and fragments of real things, is a component of Synthetic Cubism. Picasso's first collage, Still Life with Chair Caning, was created in May 1912, while Braque's first paper collé (glued picture), Fruit Dish with Glass, was created in September of the same year.
Synthetic Cubism continued into the period after the First World War. The Spanish painter Juan Gris was a contemporary of Picasso and Braque, who is also known for this art movement.
In addition, synthetic cubism also influenced late 20th century artists such as Jacob Lawrence, Romare Bearden and Hans Hoffman.