Essay by dgbrit3 January 2005

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Pablo Picasso's, "Les Demoiselles d'Avignon", 1907 Paris, depicts five women, presumably prostitutes, in a brothel. They have been painted using arabesque line, but in arabesque color, unlike the Fauvists. The faces of the figures have primitive looks of African and Egyptian sculptures, and the two figures on the right seem to be blending and morphing/merging into the background. There is a good feel of the 3-dimensional being painted onto a 2-dimensional surface, as well as having a 4th dimension of time being included. There is also a still life in the bottom centre of the painting, which has been painted using flat, bright color - evidently influenced by the Fauvists. This painting lacks detail and complexity. The artist has used four colors throughout the painting. These colors are green, pink, black and blue. Les Demoiselles d'Avignon is radically different in style to any of the paintings we have examined up till now in class.

In considering the history of the period and how it gives context to the work, there are several things one must know about Pablo Picasso. Picasso is typically modernist in his striving for originality and his seeking of new ways to express his ideas. Picassos gift was immediacy; his spontaneous perfection of drawing in particular was comparable to no other artists of his time. Yet this same man who could draw art like Raphael destroyed traditional beauty in his search for the new art form. This is why when we speculate why this work has continued to be considered important through the 20th century; it is because no artists came close to displays such ideas as Picasso. Picasso opened the door to primitive art, and went through so many metamorphoses that Picasso is so hard to define as...