Cubists challenged traditional techniques of perspective, modeling and foreshortening.In cubist works the artists combined a large range of viewpoints (multiple perspectives) in one picture and broke down the natural forms of subjects into geometric shapes.
Cubism is generally divided into two stages -
Analytical Cubism - the early phase of cubism (from about 1908-12) is chiefly characterised by the pronounced use of geometric shapes, fragmentation, multiple viewpoints and monochromatic use of colour.
Paintings produced at this time were often more detailed than later cubist works, with images often gathered tightly toward the centre of the painting, growing sparser toward the edges. Although figures and objects were dissected or "analysed" into a multitude of small facets, these were then reassembled, after a fashion, to evoke those same figures or objects.
Synthetic cubism refers to the later cubist works (from about 1912-1922) in which the artists synthesised or combined forms, creating three new art techniques.