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By definition, collage is an artistic composition of materials and objects pasted over a surface, often with unifying lines and/or color. The origin of the word "collage" comes from the French word "coller," which means to glue. Simply put, anything that is glued or pasted onto something else might be broadly interpreted as collage. Historically, collage has existed for many centuries; and, notably, Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque launched collage into the art world of Paris in the twentieth century and made it a mainstream term with a more widely accepted understanding. But, much earlier, experimentation in collage took place in France.
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Collage probably existed before the invention of paper, certainly long before the technique was thought of as artistic. Many people still view collage as a craft rather than an art; but many applications of the techniques can be used to create artworks as formal, challenging, and expressive as most paintings done on canvas.