Art Picasso Matisse Diego Rivera Term Paper

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Art, Picasso, Matisse, Diego Rivera

Life had placed Picasso, Matisse and Rivera with three different starts. Of them, Picasso is the most renowned. His name was a mouthful - Pablo or El Pablito Diego Jose Santiago Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno Crispin Crispiniano los Remedios Cipriano de la Santisima Trinidad Ruiz Blasco y Picasso Lopez. He was born in 1881 in Malage, Spain and is considered as the father of cubism along with Georges Braque. One particular incident at the age of three gave him a lot of feelings, which was an earthquake which happened in Malaga in the year 1884. (Pablo Picasso: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) At the time of the quake, his family ran from their house to a cave that was felt to be safer. In the cave his sister was born. Yet this chaotic situation did not make Picasso a psychotic or criminal as he was with his parents and they gave him the required amount of empathy, compassion, protection and the feeling of safety. (Childhood Trauma)

The parents gave him also a feeling of safety during his entire childhood, and this led him to express his fears in his early years very creatively through "Guernica." This painting is probably a reflection in the mind of Picasso what he saw as a three-year-old child -- dying people, dying horses and listening to the screams of small children. He felt all this while he was walking the long distance to the shelter. (Childhood Trauma) The picture is called a depiction of the German Bombing of Guernica, Spain. For most humans it is a picture of the inhumanity, brutality and hopelessness which results from war. The painting was in the New York Museum of Modern Art and returned to Spain only in 1981. This was because of the specification given by Picasso that the painting should not be given to Spain till democracy was established in that country. From 1992 the painting is displayed in Madrid at the Reina Sofia Museum. (Pablo Picasso: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

Now let us look at the education of the three masters, and Picasso attended many art schools during his childhood as his father taught there. He did not finish his course at any college and left his course in less than a year from the Royal Academy of San Fernando in Madrid. (Pablo Picasso: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) Whereas Picasso was a Spaniard, Henri Matisse was born in France in 1869 at Cateau-Cambresis. His father was a seed merchant and Matisse did not get in touch with art in his early years. He decided to study law and gave up only when he was sick and took up arts as he had started painting during the period of his sickness. After changing colleges he finally enrolled at Ecole des Beaux. Even there he could not complete his course due to differences with the teachers. (Henri Matisse)

The third artist, Diego Rivera was from Mexico and his art reflects events that he knew well about like the Mexican Civil war, World War I and World War II. His specialty was the painting of murals unlike the other two artists. He started drawing early at the age of two and joined the San Carlos Academy of Fine Arts in Mexico when he was ten. By 1907, he was given a grant for going to France and Spain for the study of art. He returned to Mexico in 1910 and came back to France. His aim was to find a new way of painting. He stayed in France for 14 years involving himself in the study of works of Henri Matisse, Paul Gauguin, Paul Cezanne and similar artists. (Diego Rivera: www.harcourtschool.com)

Thus it is clear that while Picasso and Matisse were artists, Rivera was basically a mural artist. All the three artists were alive during the World Wars, and let us look at their political views. Picasso was neutral during the World wars as also the Spanish Civil War, but did not agree to fight for any side. Most of his contemporaries, including Braque felt that the reason for this was cowardice. At the same time, Picasso expressed anger against Franco and the Fascists, in terms of art, and giving his paintings to Spain. At the same time, he did not take up arms. (Pablo Picasso: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) For a short period, he joined the French Communist Party and also attended an international peace conference in Poland. At the same time, a portrait of Stalin by him was viewed as not being sufficiently realistic, and that cooled his enthusiasm. (Pablo Picasso)

Now let us look at their work, and Picasso was basically a painter and he believed that painting was essential to being an artist. At the same time, he has also prepared some sculptures in ceramic and bronze, and also has written some poetry. (Pablo Picasso: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) The most important visual style created by him was Cubism between 1907 and 1914. This style concentrated on the two dimensional surface of pictures and did not honor the old techniques of perspective, foreshortening, modeling and chiaroscuro. It did not agree to the old theories of art being an imitation of nature. Thus they were not copying form, texture, color and space and came up with new realities in painting. The name came from the remarks of Henri Matisse and the critic Louis Vauxcelles who described a painting of Braque as only consisting of cubes. This was in 1908. This continued till the second phase of cubism started after 1912 is called Synthetic Cubism. Work done during this period provides stress on the combination or synthesis of the picture. Here the main subjects are newspapers or tobacco wrappers. Musical instruments like guitar and violin are often seen in these pictures. (Cubism, cubists: Picasso and Braque, and their great influences)

At the same end of his career, from 1968 through 1971, the paintings by Picasso became a lot more colorful and created a number of paintings and copperplate engravings. After he had passed away, these pictures were realized as being neo-expressionism. (Pablo Picasso: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) Matisse had also been working in cubism pictures during 1906 and 1917. He had taken the lead with Fauvism, and that style was the style of impressionists, but the vivid colors come for natural colors. He joined Pablo Picasso in an exhibition at Paul Guillaume Gallery in Paris in 1918. He also won the first prize at the Carnegie International Exhibition in 1927. (Henri Matisse) He also admired the style of Pablo Picasso, and ultimately became his friend. (Diego Rivera: www.pbs.org) But, their styles were not the same.

During the period between 1906 and 1917, Picasso and Matisse were in competition. Both of them were using similar themes as can be seen in the picture of Picasso, "Boy leading a horse" in 1906 and Le Luxe in 1907 painted by Matisse. These pictures do not concentrate on the narrative, but on the nearly mystic subject. In the Blue Nude: Memory of Biskra in 1907 by Matisse and Bather in 1908-1909 by Picasso has old style seductive self display though they are against the normal beliefs of art and attractiveness of females. The contrast between the artists can be seen only when Picasso's Les Demoiselles de Avignon in 1907 and Matisse's Bathers with a Turtle in 1908 are viewed. Their treatment of the subject was however different as they had their individual choices. In "Bather," Picasso used a fractured tribal primitive model, but Matisse used a different model recalling the painting of early Renaissance. At the same time, both their paintings do not have clear narrative as was expected from the large scale depictions of figures. Cubism was the main center of competition between Matisse and Picasso. This is clear through the integration of naturalistic curves and sharp geometry with influences of African art in Matisse's portrait of his wife and Picasso's Women in Yellow in 1907. (Matisse Piccaso: Two Giants of the 20th Century's Modern Art Met at the MoMA-QNS in New York)

Similarly in the portrait of Mlle Yvonne Landsberg in 1914, Matisse uses radiating arcs to emphasize the figure, while in Portrait 3 of a Young Girl in 1914; Picasso uses the fragmentation of the figure in cubist style. This is a bravura display of pattern and color like the treatment of Matisse. There are also a lot of similarities between Picasso's Harlequin of 1915 and Matisse's Goldfish and Palette of 1914. Here Matisse has used cut and glued paper that Picasso had used in earlier pictures. At the same time, Picasso uses strong vertical lines as can be seen in Goldfish and Palette. This was probably the beginning of the change of Picasso from ornate style of cubism into a more austere style by Picasso. This was admired by Matisse and he said himself that Goldfish had probably led Picasso to the changes as can be seen in Harlequin. (Matisse Piccaso: Two…[continue]

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