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la demoiselle du MoMA

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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23 replies on “la demoiselle du MoMA”

The contrast of the colorful and naked contorted figures in the Picasso with the shadowy monotone fully clothed dark figure is effective and I like the fact that the dark shadowy one is the alive one :}

A fine shot of this remarkable art work. How a mind departs from the normal to pursue the unusual is a remarkable behavior. This is a strong example of creative genius.

Ok, I know you were not allowed to take that picture! I know, because I tried to do the same and got caught 🙂 I suck in some hip-shots of other picasso objects, but shooting from the hip is never my best way of shooting 😉

I actually have a 24 x 36 print of this hanging in my family room. I find it intriguing and inspiring, the women strong and mysterious… like the best women I know!! I enjoyed your analysis of the painting. I’ve never thought of the women as savage as much as I’ve thought of Picasso depicting the dual qualities of women… some of these women have body parts/muscles more like men. And “savage” can be a euphemism for natural, free women who don’t follow conventional rules. 😉 Maybe the women are only “menacing” to men who can’t handle them. :-))

i like that the woman you’ve included on the right looks soft and not savage – accounts suggest that Picasso didn’t have the best view of women or the best relationships with some of them – your perspective feels much kinder.

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