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Page history last edited by Thomas Kutzli 11 years ago


Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, Pablo Picasso 1907


One of the most famous paintings by Picasso, a synthesis of the 19th century („Olympia“ by Manet and the harem scenes by Ingres and Delacroix) and in same time a clear opening to the art of the new century. Picasso shows that he’s got the innovations of Cézanne and the Fauves and surpasses them. That painting exited people and marks the beginning of cubism. It already shows a geometric language and multiperspective..


We look inside a whorehouse, in whose, like Giacometti, Picasso was always very interested, it may be inspired by one in Barcelona, in Carrer Avinyo. Picasso made hundreds of preliminary works for that painting and made a bit a secret of its improving, as he worked on it in „Bâteau Lavoir“. The classicism of the genre demonstrates the more the rupture in stile. Verticals are accentuated, as we look on a parade of naked women without contact to each other, looking plainly and shameless on you (as the do when they „parade“ in front of the customers to make them chose which one to fuck), making you a voyeur. Perspective is broken or rather nonexistent. Even the still life in foreground seems to fall out on the spectator. The provocation is though not the matter but the way to treat it. Picasso laughs about all aesthetic rules of painting naked women. Body's show deformation, back and front side in same time, the faces fall apart and show strong African influence.

By their power and actuality the Demoiselles d’Avignon are to be seen as a key work for the painting of 20th century.


some words in Spanish



Carrer Avinyo, Barcelona

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