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Demoiselles D' Avignon

By sherylee88 Feb 19, 2013 1404 Words
Demoiselles D' Avignon
Krystal Smith
Art 101
September 3, 2012
Linda King

Demoiselles D' Avignon
During the 20th century the art form “Primitivism” was just taking shape. Any artist that wanted to paint in this style would look for inspiration from sculptures and masks of African and Polynesian origin (Yahoo.com, 2007). Spain’s distance to Africa played a huge role on this art styles coming about. Paul Cezanne took this style and adapted it to his work. You could say that primitive art was deeply influenced by the works of Paul Cezanne. Cezanne was a French artist and Post-Impressionist painter whose work laid the foundations of the transition from the 19th century conception of artistic endeavor to a new and radically different world of art in the 20th century (PaulCezanne.org, 2012). Pablo Picasso was one of those artists who were influenced by the works of Cezanne. You can see Cezanne’s influence in Picassos Demoiselles D’ Avignon. Through Picassos Demoiselles d’ Avignon he is able to reshape the art of the 20th century. Pablo Picasso was born in 1881; he was a Spanish painter, draughtsman, and sculptor (PabloPicasso.org, 2009). He is one of the most recognized figures in 20th-century art. Picasso is best known for co-founding the Cubist movement and also for the wide variety of styles embodied in his work. Among his most famous paintings are the proto-Cubist Les Demoiselles d'Avignon (1907) and Guernica (1937), his portrayal of the German bombing of Guernica during the Spanish Civil War (PabloPicasso.org, 2009). No painter had been as famous as Picasso leading up to the 20th century. To say that he is one of the best that ever lived is an understatement. During the early parts of the 20th century Picasso’s style varied as he experimented with different theories, techniques, and ideas. Picasso also mastered all aspects of late century realist technique (PabloPicasso.org, 2009). Born to a father that was a painter Picasso was instilled with the tools and skills to succeed in art at a very early age. By the time he became the age of 14 Picasso had become an advanced student at the Barcelona Academy of fine Arts. Picasso’s art was like no other, you can see who he was influenced by but he always had his own twist. Picasso believed that the true meaning of art was to be derived from the works of other art, and not directly from nature (Renoirinc.com, 2008). Throughout his life his work was influenced by many different artists. Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec’s and Paul Cezanne style of work can be seen in Picasso’s earlier work, during his “blue period” which lasted from (1901- 1904). After his “blue period was a period called the “rose period”. During which he painted harlequins and circus performers in a lighter and warmer color scheme, an underlying mood of spiritual loneliness and lyrical melancholy that marked his "blue" paintings was retained (Renoirinc.com, 2008). Picasso’s blue and rose periods vanished rather abruptly when he started the next phase of his career; both Picasso and Georges Braque began to lay the foundation of a new art form called cubism (Renoirinc.com, 2008). Cubism was the use of geometric shapes, interlocking planes. Astonished by the simplicity of pre-Christian Iberian bronzes and African sculpture, he and Braque began to work in a consciously primitive and monumental style that Picasso explored in sculpture as well as in painting (Renoirinc.com, 2008). He took these art forms combined them with the style that was first developed by Cezanne and produced Les Demoiselles d'Avignon. Les Demoiselles d'Avignon (The Ladies of Avignon) was originally titled the Brothel of Avignon, was painted in 1907 Pablo Picasso. The painting is a portrait of five nude female prostitutes from a brothel in Barcelona. According to Wikipedia.com “Each figure is depicted in a disconcerting confrontational manner and none are conventionally feminine. The women appear as slightly menacing and rendered with angular and disjointed body shapes. Two are shown with African mask-like faces and three more with faces in the Iberian style of Picasso's native Spain, giving them a savage aura” (Wikipedia.com, 2012). This portrait of Demoiselles was very controversial, because of that it led to wide anger and disagreement, even amongst his closest associates and friends (Wikipedia.com, 2012). When Picasso set out to paint this portrait I believe he wanted to make a statement. He could have painted anything; instead he chose to paint prostitutes. It wasn’t just the fact that painted these prostitutes it was also a big deal because of the manner and art form he chose to paint them in. Though this painting is controversial it opened the door for a new method of art style. When Picasso first began to sketch this painting he originally started the painting with men in it but by the end of the finished product he dropped the man and added the drapery in their place. The influence of “primitive art opened the door of to a radically new method of form and space (Kliener, 2006). When asked why he chose to portray the women the way he did Picasso said “I paint forms as I think them, not as I see them” (Kliener, 2006). Pablo Picasso had a tremendous influence on art. He is recognized as one of the most famous since Michelangelo. His work in pioneering Cubism established a set of pictorial problems, devices, and approaches, which remained important well into the 1950s (TheArtStory.org, 2012). Yes, cubism was there before Picasso decide to adapt the style but it wasn’t until he used the style in his own way did it really get the true recognition that it did. Picasso went through many stages in his career, from his works in the 1920s to his works in the 1940’s it took him to really put theses styles on the map. Pablo Picassos work lives on in many American artists. Taking a look at the artist Willem de Kooning and his work of monstrous women we will see him pay homage to the cubist women that were typically painted by Picasso. You will also see artist like Jackson Pollock reference Picasso by using bold black lines to outline figures in his work. Jasper Johns is a painter and sculptor, he is best known for his encaustic painting of flags and targets. Beside his works of flags and targets he also created dozens of works that incorporate elements directly from Picasso paintings – including nudes, mythical creatures, and portraits of women (artrevived.com). Pablo Picasso was a great artist, more like a jack of all trades. He was able to take art styles created by other people adapt it to his own style of work and make it amazing! He not only mad a claim on the people of his time but is still in some was very much alive in artist today. Picasso began his early work influenced by “primitivism” and “cubism” art and let the world influencing all the art of today. He not only mastered the works of artists before him and during his time he perfected it as well as opened the door for many different artists. Pablo Picasso had a huge influence on 20th century art. If we look at one of his most famous works of Les Demoiselles d'Avignon we will see how he was able to reshape the art of the 20th century.

References
Artrevived.com. Picasso's Legacy: 5 American Artists Most Influenced by Picasso. Retrieved from http://www.artrevived.com/blogs/art-revived-blog/1354132-picassos-legacy-5-american-artists-most-influenced-by-picasso Chave, A. C. (1994). New encounters with Les Demoiselles d'Avignon: Gender, race, and the origins of Cubism. Art Bulletin, 74(4), 596. Kleiner. Gardner's Art Through the Ages: The Western Perspective, Volume II, 13th ed Pablopicasso.org. (2009). Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, 1907 Pablo Picasso. Retrieved from http://www.pablopicasso.org/avignon.jsp Pablopicasso.org. (2009). Pablo Picasso and his Paintings. Retrieved from http://www.pablopicasso.org Paul-cezanne.org. (2012). Paul Cezanne The Complete Works. Retrieved from http://www.paul-cezanne.org/ Renoirinc.com. (2008). Pablo Ruiz Y Picasso. Retrieved from http://www.renoirinc.com/biography/artists/picasso.htm Theartstort.org. (2012). Pablo Picasso. Retrieved from http://www.theartstory.org/artist-picasso-pablo.htm Wikipedia.org. (2012). Les Demoiselles d’ Avignon. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Les_Demoiselles_d'Avignon

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