The Les Demoiselles d’Avignon is an oil painting by Pablo Picasso. This image shows five nude women grouped around a still life and of the five figures, four of the figures are facing the viewers. However, the fifth figure is crouching on the floor and her back is turned away from the viewers. While her supposed face or african mask is facing towards the viewers.
Picasso was inspired to paint Les Demoiselles d’Avignon after visiting a place, notorious for its prostitution. This painting is both fascinating and attracting because of the five naked women and their figures however, this painting also forces a sudden draw back because of the portrayal of the horror of these prostitutes.
History and Inspiration of The Les Demoiselles d’Avignon
The Les Demoiselles d’Avignon oil painting is painted in a style of art called Cubism. Cubism is an early 20th century art movement which brought European painting and sculpture historically forward towards the 20th century Modern art. The non-human heads of the figures are due to the direct result of Picasso’s exposure to Iberian art from the West Africa. The emphasis on abstraction, flatness and angles occuring in the painting are attributes of Iberian art. When Picasso started the painting, he had no intention creating realistic and naturalistic curves of the human body and had chosen to create planes and abstract shapes depicting the human body. The five females depicted in the painting seem to be very flat and two dimensional. The composition of this painting is very simple, we can divide the painting into portions of vertical thirds. The left hand portion of the painting is significant because the colors correlate to the Rose period, while the colors shift towards the color blue on the right is a attribute of the Blue period. The primary difference between the left and the right sides however lies in the heads of the two figures. The female figures on the right side of the painting are missing their ears, their mouths occur to be more oval compared to the figures on the right, their face features are more pointed, sharp and disjunct shapes.