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(b Argentan, Normandy, 4 Feb. 1881; d Gif-sur-Yvette, Seine-et-Oise, 17 Aug. 1955). French painter and designer. After passing through various early influences he turned to Cubism in 1909. Although he is regarded as one of the major figures of the movement, he always stood somewhat apart from its central course: he disjointed forms but did not fragment them in the manner of Braque and Picasso, preferring bold tubular shapes (he was for a time known as a ‘tubist’). During the First World War he served as a sapper in the front line, then as a stretcher-bearer, and his experiences were ‘a complete revelation to me as a man and a painter’. They enlarged his outlook by bringing him into contact with people from different social classes and walks of life and also by underlining his feeling for the beauty of machinery.

Text source: The Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists (Oxford University Press)


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