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Examination of Pablo Picasso's Painting Cubism in Les Demoiselles D'avignon

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Les Demoiselles d’Avignon is a large oil painting created by Pablo Picasso in 1907. Spanish artist Pablo Picasso worked in many different styles, he has been trying to challenge the illusion and western conceptional combine together to fined a new style. His influenced by many different art styles, such as Cezanne’s paintings and African sculptures style. Picasso had a partner named Georges Braque,and they worked together to create Cubism, so Picasso was influence by Braque too. Cubism was popular in 1907 to 1914, it sponsor by Picasso and Braque. When Picasso works in Cubism style, he has three innovations are nontraditional elements, merging of figures and ground, and figure piece and other elements put in flat planes. In avant-grade times the artists worked in highly abstract style, so Cubism have these characteristic positivism, abstraction and experimentation.

In the painting, Picasso sets five nude female bodies in a room background with some . He seems to be inspired by the streets of Barcelona and transported the women that he observed in Avignon on his canvas. Some critics argue that the painting was completed in the Expressionist style. Expressionists use distorted or abstract forms in their works to represent their emotions.Picasso, however, as the co-founder of the Cubist movement,use sand reconstructs broken forms for a two-dimensional view. Cubism also relies on nontraditional elements, which includes historical references that Picasso tends to use a lot . Therefore, Les Demoiselles d’Avignon is in fact a work of Cubism instead of expressionism. The reason is that it follows nontraditional elements like combining figures and ground while using broken figures.

First, Picasso borrows many ideas from history and ancient cultures,and his created figures influence by history. In painting Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, Picasso uses nontraditional pictures to create curvaceous nude bathers. In the five women in the painting has biggest differences,the two women on the right side feeling like influenced by[] African art style. Their crude and screwy faces and body proportions are very inconsistent with human body. These two figures have been denied integrity and continuity. The three women on the left side are influence by traditional art style, those figures are very clear human figures. But the artist changed a little bit [] traditional female body by himself,because the figures looks like very curt and deformation. “In breaking with Western art conventions that reached back to ancient Greece and Rome, Picasso [sought] inspiration from other, equally ancient traditions”( pg85). Picasso made the figures looks like rough and deformation, he used African art style to destroy traditional elements beauty. Picasso created special figure by himself, so his figures are nontraditional elements. Thus, this painting is not Expressionist, because Cubist in its use of historical elements and nontraditional forms.

Second, Pablo Picasso combined figure and ground together. Picasso used angles and perpendicular and parallel lines to make the objects overlap painting. We can see the shadow around the woman’s body on the right side, the shadow feeling very scattered, so it does create a two-dimensional perspective. Because three-dimensional space than two-dimensional plane has more realistic effect, it is like we are in the same scene. Themes and screen interactive interludes allow artists to create a two-dimensional feature space in their paintings. In other hand, Picasso used figures and ground to created a very shallow space, so the painting looks like a relief. Picasso hope to the figures and ground closer, he wants the figures becomes a part of the painting. In the block background on the right side of the painting, Picasso uses blue to causes figures to retreat in the visual effects. Geitlin said “merging of figure and ground, reflecting the assumption that all portions of the work participate its expression”( Pg 85). The painting perfectly reflects the Cubist concept and use of space.

Finally, Les Demoiselles d’Avignon is a Cubist work because of the use of broken figures and the figures represented on flat planes. Picasso combines the difference side of person’s face in a single plane, he recombined the difference ways of people. The artist has broken down character’s bodies into simple into simple geometric shapes, and then recombined these parts on his canvas. Such as a woman on the left up side, her breasts may appear on her face; the front face will appear on the side of the nose; facial features will be in a stretched or extended state. Picasso presents a single plane of this painting with no sense of three-dimensional perspective, for example “the breasts of the figure at upper right and the mask just below”( Pg85), because of the use of broken figures and recombined elements. Picasso used broken shape and recombine shape to created his work, because humans live in a four-dimensional space and human beings did not have enough time to notice all things. When Picasso wants to show this idea in his paintings, he did give a different perspective to observe the same person and the things he thought were important to draw on paper. Finally Picasso put those important things recombined on his canvas, we can through his works to feel a four-dimensional space. So Les Demoiselles d’Avignon is a Cubist work.

Les Demoiselles d’Avignon is, in fact, revolutionary; the painting represents Picasso’s start to working in Cubism. It is the first painting of the Cubist period and reflects the style and philosophy of that period. The painting incorporates traditional elements and uses figures to create a two-dimensional space in the painting. Figures are broken and re-combined onto flat planes. Some critics might not consider the work attractive, especially in art, is relatively subjective; the composition is certainly original. The painting reflected the origins of a new movement that profoundly affected the subsequent modern art world.

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