Pablo Picasso, Les Demoiselles d’Avignon

Les Demoiselles d'Avignon

Artist;  Pablo Picasso

TitleLes Demoiselles d'Avignon
Size244 x 234 cm                  Mediumoil on canvas                         

Date; 1907                              LocationMuseum of Modern Art
Subject; 5 women                  Movement/Style: Early Cubist painting             

Line; Flowing, bold, angular

Tone; contrasting, dramatic

Texture; oil on canvas, coarse

Shape; curvaceous, geometric, angular, elongated

Contrast; Dramatic, strong

Colour; Bold, vibrant, naturalistic


"Les Demoiselles d'Avignon" or "The Young Ladies of Avignon", formerly titled "The Brothel of Avignon Les" painted in oil, 1907. This painting is usually seen as Pablo Picasso's pivotal first step towards the new Cubist style, a stride which established him as the leader of avant-garde art in Paris.
Painted in blue/grey and reddish brown background, with red to pale pinks in the five female figures. A still life in the foreground of fruits and maybe nuts. A whole new way of looking at the female or human form.
The work, part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, portrays five nude female prostitutes in a brothel on Carrer d'Avinyó, a street in Barcelona. It depicts naked women composed of flat, fractured planes whose faces were inspired by Iberian sculpture and African masks. Each figure is depicted in a perplexing confrontational manner and none is conventionally feminine. The women seem slightly menacing and are rendered with angular and fragmented body shapes. The figure on the left exhibits facial features and dress of Egyptian or southern Asian style. The two adjacent figures are shown in the Iberian style of Picasso's native Spain, while the two on the right are shown with African mask-like features. This painting is a large work and took nine months to complete. It demonstrates the true genius and novelty of Pablo Picasso's passion.   In preparation for it, Picasso did hundreds of drawings and other preparatory studies, including the charcoal drawing Nu aux bras leves 1907, and Head of a Sleeping Woman, Study for Nude with Drapery from 1907, Museum of Modern Art, New York.  The ethnic primitivism evoked in these masks, according to Picasso, moved him to "liberate an utterly original artistic style of compelling, even savage force.

Category: Art critique
You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed.