AP Art History – Period 2
10 September 2013
Pablo Picasso’s “Les Demoiselles d’ Avignon”
Picasso’s “Les Demoiselles d’ Avignon,” an expressionist piece of the early 20th century consists of multiple influences by African, Iberian and European artwork. Picasso uses jagged yet strict lines and fractured shapes with contrasting cool and warm colors to change an original take on form and space to something new. Picasso’s showcase of three dimensional design that lies flat on a two dimensional canvas creates a newfound mix of abstract design and representation of the five women shown in differing positions, 2 of which were inspired by calm Iberian sculptures while the remaining 3 energetic women were inspired by lively African sculpture. The women are within and surrounded by frosty blue drapes that are vivid next to their nude colored bodies. One of the five women is seated. This creates a new level and sense of movement to the painting. The figures of the women create an array of viewpoints consisting of frontal, right, and a three quarter back view. The balance in “Les Demoiselles d’ Avignon” is asymmetrical, the harsh distorted bodylines and contrastingly colored drapery add to a sense of disorder within the painting. The focal points of the painting are the five women placed at different angles that are emerging from within the drapes around them. The clash of the cool drapes within a perimeter of deep brick red drapes cause them to be eye catching. The emerging women painted in a pinkish-nude pop from the backdrop making them the focal point of the painting. The lightest areas in the piece are the pale women and the cool blue drapes touching and surrounding them. The darkest colors are the drapes that surround the blue drapes in which the women are emerging from. The deep red drapes of the surrounding space also participate in highlighting the irregular lines of the women’s bodies. The geometric feel to this painting and...
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