Painting In Painting And Sculpture Gallery I In MOMA In New York Term Paper

MoMA In the Museum of Modern Art of New York City, New York there is an enormous oil painting on canvas which was painted by one of the most famous painters of all time, Pablo Picasso. The piece is entitled "Les Demoiselles d'Avignon" which means "The Young Ladies of Avignon" in English, an ironic title which will be made clear. The painting is extremely large, almost 8-foot square. Many of Picasso's paintings depicted scenes he had witnessed and people he had personally known. Although most Picasso paintings are interpretive and representational rather than obvious depictions of their subject, the emotion and authenticity of their subject is still visible to those who understand exactly what it is that the artist is trying to show. It is a large oil painting created in 1907 which depicts four prostitutes from Paris, France. The basic thematic point of the piece is that those who sell their bodies for money are a desperate lot of women. They are not the gorgeous creatures of stage or screen or literature. They are women who have no other options but to sell their bodies in order to feed themselves and their loved ones.

The painting is from Picasso's cubism phase wherein regular, rounded objects are transformed. Cubist paintings, mostly portraits, are ones in which the actual item being painted are not depicted in any way that could be considered true to live, and yet their subjects are still obvious through the use of angle choices, color, and subjects. Instead of the round, subtle women that one would usually associate with the lascivious occupation, Picasso paints them as angular, and cross, almost monstrous creatures. The women are mostly undressed, as would be expected considering their obvious occupation. Prostitutes hardly require clothing to ply their trade. Although Picasso does not explicitly state that these women are prostitutes; he labels the painting young ladies after all. However, their dress and their close proximity illustrates...

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The women are painted in sexually suggestive poses and show their flesh without fear or shame which would be far more likely in this period of history. Only women without morals or ethics or the Victorian sensibility would be likely to pose in such a matter, particularly when there is a potential audience to witness them.
The two women in the center of the painting are show to be looking directly at the viewer. Their eyes are large in their faces with heavily lined black pupils and no irises of any color whatsoever to give individuality or unique character. Their noses are sharp and angular and the little hair that is atop their head is minimal, as if the head has too much scalp for the meager amounts of hair. One woman, whose face is a darker shade than the others, is in profile. The other two women are facing the front but their faces are obscured by horrific coverings which appear to be masks of some kind. Each woman's body is a light pink, although only the women in the center are colored a singular shade. The monster women and the dark-faced one have bodies which are colored in darker shades of pink as well. Their breasts are defined, but only barely. None of them have nipples or genitalia which illustrates them as obviously female. None of the women are clothed, although there is white color which looks like linen that serves as the background for the women and as covering to conceal some of the women's bodies. Each woman is displaying herself for the observer as though the viewer of the painting were a potential client.

Beyond the actual people in the painting, the setting of the painting seems to echo the sexuality of the women and to comment on the danger of their profession. The left most woman stands in front of a dark red curtain that is the shade of blood. Her position and her holding of the curtain show the rest of the debauched scene. She is like…

Sources Used in Documents:

Works Cited:

Plagens, Peter. "Which is the Most Influential Work of Art in the Last 100 Years?" Newsweek.

2007. Print.


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