Discussion Topic: Unpacking Picasso’s Les Demoiselles D’Avignon

Picasso, Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, 1907

Pablo Picasso’s Les Demoiselles D’Avignon is a masterpiece of western art in the collection at MoMA. Some have suggested Picasso’s painting is the most important work in Modern Art. Picasso executed over a hundred sketches and preparatory studies before completing the painting in 1907. Explore the following website on the artist and the painting. Pay careful attention to the sections “Looking at the Work” and “Preparatory Drawings,” and study the details of the picture. What strikes you as most interesting in Picasso’s Demoiselles? Do you think the painting was controversial for its time?

Columbia University’s Unpacking Les Demoiselles d’Avignon website

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9 Responses to Discussion Topic: Unpacking Picasso’s Les Demoiselles D’Avignon

  1. Jonathan Chu says:

    One thing I find interesting about Picasso’s Demoiselles is how sharp the painting is and that their are hardly any curves. Another thing I find interesting is the two girls on the right, their faces are so distorted that they don’t even look human anymore. Also compared to the sketches I realize that Picasso took out a lot of details from the setting and removing two figures from the original sketch.

  2. ACamara says:

    What strikes me the most is Picasso’s use of abstractness. The two woman on the right faces looks unclear, the one standing kind of has an animal like head and the one sitting down looks like it has two different half faces. Also, Picasso’s geometrical sketching is very distinct to me. I don’t think the painting was controversial for it’s time because it’s nothing negative about this image so I think there shouldn’t be any dispute.

  3. This link isnt working for me?

  4. Juwel says:

    This artwork is very unclear to me and also it’s hard to distinguish the characters because of the geometrical shapes. Since it’s hard to see what’s in there, I don’t think it was controversial for its time. This artwork was supposed to show the nudity and get men’s attention to it, but the way the characters appeared in the picture I believe that it won’t get anyone’s attention. The thing that strikes me the most is their weird type of sexual poses.

  5. martin lee says:

    what i like most about this painting is that Picasso paints like this even though he can paint much better than this. while this painting is very odd but unique it is very eye catching to see that he uses different forms of art and perspectives in this one piece. while he plays with the different view points of this one art, he also places different cultural masks on the faces of the women to test how the art would look, that is why i think this piece is very interesting. although this piece is acceptable for our time, it might not be for its time because when this painting was shown people were still very closed minded about nudity and women.

  6. Natasha says:

    Like any one person who appreciates Art, you would love to own a Picasso.
    What strikes me about this picture is the fact that I know he can paint much clearer and neater but Picasso was mainly interested in Cubism and giving the full 3 dimensional view of his artwork.I definitely believe that this work of art was controversial just like the style used. He painted women of the Red light District in Barcaleno ,who are also prostitute.who are asking the person viewing this picture to choose me. They arr generally advertising themselves for hire.The thing is people know what’s happening in society but they like when it’s broadcasted.

  7. Although Picasso could have done a much better painting when it comes to how neat it is, this drawing is simply amazing because it shows what Picasso was always into. He always wanted to express 3D in his drawings and this painting became the most famous ever. It was perfectly timed when it came out because i believe it was definitely controversial for this time period. It had people talking, criticizing, and admiring after realizing what the meaning of the picture was. Nevertheless, it was a success and a painting known all over the world

  8. What I like about this painting, as well as other picasso’s paintings is that they drive mystery because of their uniqueness. The uniqueness of the painting makes it interesting. When you first see the painting you wonder what the purpose of the painting is and you also try to understand the spaces and the odd characters. Picassos way of painting is interesting to me. The rare shapes call my attention. One of the things I like about cubism is that the message is not obvious. It forces you to think and interpret the meaning of the painting. I think the work of art was controvertial for its time because paintings of naked woman were not common, much less when the naked women are prostitutes and trying to seduce the viewer claiming they are their clients. This may have been regarded as unrespectful by the time. Additionally it was not only the subject of the painting that was controvertial, but also his style. Picasso had a unique style of painting. Flat spaces and the representation of different views of an object had already been used by other artists (for example cezzanne). However, Picasso’s style of rare shapes and unreal spaces was unique and this must have impressed people, and been disliked by many in the beggining.

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