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Art Appreciation

August 1 2006 Art Appreciation Newsletter

Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque were the co-founders of Cubism, where the content of a painting: places and figures, were reduced to a series of cubes. Picasso's painting, "Les Demoiselles d'Avignon" or "Young Ladies of Avignon" was his adaptation of a group of nudes.

In the 1550s, Titian had painted Diana and her nymphs, surprised by Actaeon. Centuries later, Henri Matisse would paint "Joy of Life" which would inspire Picasso to tackle his eight-foot canvas.
Influenced by Paul Cezanne's Bathers series, Picasso felt compelled to continue the theme as Cezanne had passed away the year before.

Some view "Les Demoiselles" as grotesque and an insult to women. What we do know is that this may very well be a depiction of prostitutes from the red light district, Avignon street, in Barcelona, Spain. He was simply using the Cubist style to describe these women. Picasso had a way of expressing his feelings toward the many women in his life through his paintings and sculptures throughout his career.

I have seen "Les Demoiselles" at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and I can attest to the initial shock of the subject matter. But once you settle into the painting, you realize the depth of Picasso's genius and his skill as a superb artist.
Buy Posters Here From Here's the latest article from the Art Appreciation site at

A Brief Anthology of Nudity in Art
I discuss how nudity (both male and female) have been accepted or rejected over the centuries and how it is defined today.

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Camille Gizzarelli, Art Appreciation Editor

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