Sentimentality in Art

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Sentimentality to one person may not be sentimentality to another. As we talked about in class, sentimentality is “said to be a mood or feelings, not a feeling in and of itself”. For something to be sentimental to us, it is usually something that makes us feel better about ourselves, or something that produces a type of feeling. Pablo Picasso’s painting titled “Les Demoiselles d’ Avignor” is a piece of art that I feel to be sentimental. Everyone is entitled to his or her own opinions for example; Ira Newman may feel that this piece depicts emotions of sentimentalism, while someone like Savile would see this piece of art as having no form of sentimentalism what so ever.

I chose to talk about Picasso’s “Les Demoiselles d’Avignor” or “The Young Ladies of Avignon”. This painting was finished in 1907 in Paris, and depicts five nude female prostitutes. Each figure is painted in a perplexing and provoking manner, where none of them are socially accepted as being feminine. The women appear slightly intimidating with their angular and disjointed body shapes. Two of the women are shown with African mask-like faces, and the others have the style of Picasso's native Spain, giving them undomesticated characteristics. The work is widely considered to be influential in the early development of both cubism and modern art. This painting is very iconic because it was the first movement away from classical paintings towards cubism. I ask the question, do people see sentimentality in modern art such as this? This picture alone could show many forms of sentimentality throughout its borders. Sentimentality can be viewed in the sense that it depicts the female body and how natural it is. Picasso’s view of women can be seen in this painting. It could have been sentimental to him in the way that he saw all women with beautiful bodies, yet they all had different faces to go with those bodies. Newman would say that this painting could bring sentimentality to one when viewing it...
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