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Picasso's Les Demoiselles d'Avignon and Guernica

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Introduction

Picasso's Les Demoiselles d'Avignon and Guernica Pablo Picasso was born on October 25, 1881 in Malaga, Spain. However, most of his life was spent in France. Picasso was one of the most influential artists pf the twentieth century, and he was largely known for his contributions as a painter, sculptor and designer. One of his most important stylistic inventions was the technique known as 'cubism'. No painter or sculptor, not even Michelangelo achieved so much fame in his lifetime as Picasso. Pablo Picasso based his works on moods such as gossip, adoration, rumors, etc. He changed art more profoundly than any other artist of the 20th century. Picasso lived a long life and died at the age of 91 on April 1973. Les Demoiselles d'Avignon Pablo Picasso's Les Demoiselles d'Avignon is one of the most important paintings to influence modern art. Picasso painted this in 1907, in his mid twenties. At the time, Picasso was competing with Henri Matisse, which encouraged him to put more effort into this piece of work. The painting depicts a figurative composition of five female prostitutes. This painting was influenced by the barbaric qualities of primitive Iberian and African art, as well as C�zanne, another well-known artist. ...read more.

Middle

In this painting, Picasso restructured the ideal form of female nude into harsh angular planes. The colors, which Picasso uses in this painting, are mostly soft tans and olive tones, and seem to give a serene mood. The outline of the figures are marked by either black or white. One figure at the left is marked by the cinnamon tone of the background. The figures in the middle take on a style used in Picasso's 'rose period'. There isn't much contrast used in the painting. The responses of people upon seeing the painting varied. Some admired it while some detested it. When Picasso's colleague George Braque first saw the painting, his said it appeared that "Picasso had been drinking turpentine in order to spit fire." Many other people were also shocked. Picasso's patron, Leo Stein, sarcastically commented, "You've been trying to paint the fourth dimension. How amusing!" Henri Matisse said that he would "sink" his rival as he thought the painting was a complete disaster. The Russian collector Shchukin said, "What a loss for French art!" However, Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler recognized the importance and value of the painting. ...read more.

Conclusion

Picasso was frustrated with his personal life, unsatisfied with his own work and was troubled by his native homeland's politics during this particular period but this masterpiece of his was going to turn out to be a massive success and it challenged many people's feelings about violence, warfare and power. The painting also consists of a fallen warrior, a mother and a dead child, a woman trapped in a burning building and another rushing into the scene, and a figure leaning from a window and holding out a lamp. The painting went around North America and Europe from the beginning of World War II to 1981, and was not returned to Spain until October 25, 1981, as Picasso, wished, when the country finally enjoys "public liberties and democratic institutions." In 1992, the work was moved to the city's new museum of 20th century art, the Reina Sofia Art Centre. Personally, I feel that Guernica portrays an overwhelming impact of the horrors of the war. This makes it such a powerful piece of art. This piece of art was painted on a black background, using white paints for the figures. This helps the figures to stand out because these two colours are opposites and mix well with each other, to help then to stand out. ...read more.

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