Cubism was one of the most influential visual art styles of the early twentieth century. The Cubists tried to create a new way of seeing things in art. Many of their subjects were represented as combinations of basic geometric shapes, sometimes showing multiple viewpoints of a particular image. This approach was related more to the way we see images in our 'minds-eye' rather than in real life. cubist pictures are often described as looking like pieces of fractured glass.

Cubism was begun by Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque in 1907. During his Rose Period, Pablo Picasso would, for the first time in his career, develop his cubism style that would make him the most important artist of the 20th century.

The Cubist painters rejected the inherited concept that art should copy nature, or that they should adopt the traditional techniques of perspective, modeling, and foreshortening. They wanted instead to emphasize the two-dimensionality of the canvas. So they reduced and fractured objects into geometric forms, and then realigned these within a shallow, relief like space. They also used multiple or contrasting vantage points. A Cubist's canvas resembles "a field of broken glass" as one vicious critic noted.

This geometrically analytical approach to form and color, and shattering of object in focus into geometrical sharp-edged angular pieces baptized the movement into Cubism. Cubism distrusts whole images perceived by the retina and considers them artificial and conventional. Cubism rejects these images and recognizes that perspective space is an illusory, rational invention, or a sign system inherited from works of art since the Renaissance.