Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (The Young Ladies of Avignon) is a large oil painting of 1907 by Pablo Picasso (1881–1973) which portrays five nude female prostitutes in a brothel on Avinyó Street in Barcelona. All of the figures depicted are physically jarring, none conventionally feminine, all slightly menacing, and each is rendered with angular and disjointed body shapes. Two of the women are rendered with African mask-like faces, giving them a savage and mysterious aura. In his adaption of Primitivism and abandonment of perspective in favor of a flat, two-dimensional picture plane, Picasso makes a radical departure from traditional European painting. The work is one of Picasso’s most famous, and is widely considered to be a seminal work in the early development of both Cubism and modern art. It is in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, having been acquired by the museum in 1939. (more)
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