Cubism: Art and Philosophy

Dan O’Brien


In this paper I argue that the development of cubism by Picasso and Braque at the beginning of the twentieth century can be illuminated by consideration of long-running philosophical debates concerning perceptual realism, in particular byLocke’s (1689) distinction between primary and secondary properties, and Kant’s (1781) empirical realism. Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler (1920), Picasso’s dealer and early authority on cubism, interpreted Picasso and Braque as Kantian in their approach. I reject his influential interpretation, but propose a more plausible, Kantian reading of cubism.


Braque; cubism; formalism; Kant; Locke; Picasso; realism; space and time

Full Text:

PDF (English)

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.



ESPES (ISSN 1339-1119) is published biannually by Society for Aesthetics in Slovakia
Institute of Aesthetics and Art Culture, Faculty of Arts, University of Presov, Slovakia

This journal is open access and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.