Collage can be used as a description of both an artistic technique and a completed artwork. In its essence, the term refers to the practise of joining together a number of smaller pieces on a surface to create one larger picture.
Collages in the sense of combining different papers together has been around literary for as long as paper itself. The usage of collages as an artform is however a much more resent phenomenon which became increasingly popular during the modernism of the early twentieth century. The artists George Braque and Pablo Picasso has traditionally been attributed as the ones who introduced collage to the modern art scene.
Even though the technique was first applied as a tool for the cubist artwork of Braque and Picasso, it has later been adapted by several other styles. One movement where collage works particularly well is Pop Art. Through combining a number of different pictures from for example newspapers or advertisements, a pop art collage can become abundant with pop cultural references. One artist who worked in this manner is Peter Blake and an example of his work can be seen in the picture to your right.
In present day, collage is still a commonly used artistic practise. The media used has however evolved from only paper to combinations of parts of painting, drawings, three dimensional objects and sometimes even digital works.