Pablo Picasso

Pablo Picasso. Les Demoiselles d'Avignon (The Young Ladies of Avignon), 1907



Oil on canvas

243,9 x 233,7 cm

New York, Museum of Modern Art


This picture painted in 1907 was a significant milestone in the artist’s personal artistic career and largely determined the fate of fine arts in general. Despite the fact that the painting was first presented only thirty years after it had been painted, it became an open door to the world of avant-garde. Because the first spectators of "The Young Ladies of Avignon" were Picasso’s contemporaries: Braque, Derain, Matisse, etc. The Parisian bohemia was polarized: one part supported "The Young Ladies", and the other part criticized it. For example, Georges Braque was among those, who encouraged the Picasso’s work. He became one of the "founders" of Cubism and together with Picasso passed an "analytical" stage. Braque’s "Nude" was inspired by "The Young Ladies of Avignon". But the famous Spaniard also had his artistic "mentor." Paul Cezanne largely anticipated the Picasso’s analytical approach by bringing geometric interpretation of shapes into fine arts. When speaking of "The Young Ladies of Avignon" by Picasso, one cannot forget about "The Bathers" by Cezanne. And this is not the only prerequisite. The canon of Iberian sculpture - a branch of archaic art popular among artists at that time, - which formed the basis of the Picasso’s African Period, is embodied in this painting as well.

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