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Les Demoiselles d'Avignon by Pablo Picasso Pablo Picasso Les Demoiselles d'Avignon Painting

Les Demoiselles d'Avignon Pablo Picasso painting

Painting Title: Les Demoiselles d'Avignon 1907
Pablo Picasso: Cubist Paintings / Mid Career
Famous Spanish artist - 20th Century Painter

About the Les Demoiselles d'Avignon Painting
With its hacked contours, staring interrogatory eyes, and general feeling of instability, Les Demoiselles is still a disturbing painting after three quarters of a century, a refutationof the idea that the surprise of art, like the surprise of fasion, must necessarily wear off. No painting ever looked more convulsive. None signalled a faster change in the history of art. Yet it was anchored in tradition, and its attack on the eye would never have been so startling if its format had not been that of the classical nude; the three figures at the left are a distant but unmistakable echo of that favourite image of the late Renaissance, the Three Graces. Picasso began it in the year Cezanne died, 1906, and its nearest ancestor seems to have been Cezanne's monumental composition of the bathers displaying their blockish, angular bodies beneath arching trees. Its other line of descent in Picasso's Spanish heritage. The bodies of the two caryatid-like standing nudes, and to a lesser degree their neaighbour on the right, twist like El Greco's figures. And the angular, harshly lit blue space between them closely resembles the drapery in El Greco's Dumbarton Oaks Visitation.

Robert Hughes, The Shock of the New, p21. London: Thames & Hudson 1991

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