Les Demoiselles d'Avignon by Pablo Picasso

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Les Demoiselles d'Avignon (The Young Ladies of Avignon) by Pablo Picasso

Painting Details

Part of the Museum of Modern Art's permanent collection in New York, this artwork portrays five nude female prostitutes within a Barcelona brothel on Carrer d'Avinyó. Each figure challenges conventions, presented with a disconcerting and confrontational demeanor, deviating from traditional femininity. These women exude an almost menacing aura, their bodies depicted with angular and disjointed forms.

The leftmost figure showcases Egyptian or southern Asian influences in facial features and attire, while the adjacent two embody Picasso's Spanish roots in the Iberian style. On the right, the remaining two figures bear African mask-like characteristics. This ethnic primitivism deeply influenced Picasso, inspiring him to forge an entirely unique artistic style characterized by compelling and almost savage intensity.

Picasso's abandonment of perspective and adoption of a flat, two-dimensional canvas in this proto-cubist creation marked a radical departure from conventional European painting. "Les Demoiselles d'Avignon" is widely regarded as a seminal work in the early evolution of cubism and modern art.

Revolutionary and controversial, this painting incited widespread disagreement, even among Picasso's closest associates. Matisse viewed it with skepticism, indirectly responding to it in his 1908 "Bathers with a Turtle." Georges Braque, initially averse, later delved into the intricacies of this artwork, leading to his collaboration with Picasso and the eventual cubist movement.

The painting's resemblance to other masterpieces, such as Cézanne's "The Bathers," Gauguin's "Oviri," and El Greco's "Opening of the Fifth Seal," has been extensively discussed by subsequent critics.

Upon its first exhibition in 1916, "Les Demoiselles d'Avignon" faced allegations of immorality. Painted in Picasso's Montmartre studio, it made its public debut at the Salon d'Antin in July 1916, an event organized by poet André Salmon. It was here that Salmon renamed it from Picasso's original choice, "Le Bordel d'Avignon," to its present title, "Les Demoiselles d'Avignon," in an attempt to reduce its scandalous connotations. Picasso, who always referred to it as "mon bordel" or "Le Bordel d'Avignon," favored the milder name "Las chicas de Avignon" ("The Girls of Avignon").

Pablo Picasso - Artist Profile

Pablo Picasso, born on October 25, 1881, in Málaga, Spain, is universally recognized as one of the most influential artists of the 20th century. His impact on the art world was so profound that he became synonymous with innovation, breaking free from artistic conventions, and reshaping the very essence of visual expression.

Picasso's artistic journey began early. He displayed extraordinary talent from a young age, receiving formal art training from his father, who was an art teacher. By his teenage years, he had already surpassed his father's abilities, signifying his prodigious talent.

The artist's early works, often characterized by classical and realistic themes, reflect his solid grounding in traditional techniques. However, Picasso was never content with staying within the boundaries of convention. He quickly ventured into new realms, pioneering the development of modern art movements.

One of his most celebrated periods is the "Blue Period," marked by a melancholic and introspective palette dominated by blue and blue-green hues. During this time, Picasso's works delved into themes of poverty, despair, and human suffering, as exemplified by "The Old Guitarist."

Subsequently, the "Rose Period" introduced warmer colors and circus performers as central subjects. However, it was in the early 20th century that Picasso embarked on his most transformative phase, co-founding Cubism alongside Georges Braque. This movement shattered traditional perspective and representation, offering multiple viewpoints in a single frame, as seen in "Les Demoiselles d'Avignon."

Throughout his career, Picasso remained tirelessly innovative, experimenting with various styles and mediums, including sculpture, ceramics, and collage. His later works, often characterized as part of his "Surrealist Period," continued to challenge artistic norms.

Beyond his artistic innovations, Picasso's personal life was equally remarkable. He engaged in influential collaborations with fellow artists and thinkers, such as the poet Guillaume Apollinaire and the photographer Dora Maar. His relationships and personal experiences profoundly influenced his art.

Pablo Picasso's legacy endures not only through his astounding body of work but also through the way he transformed the very concept of art itself. He pushed boundaries, redefined aesthetics, and left an indelible mark on the art world, ensuring that his name will forever be synonymous with creativity and revolution in art. Picasso passed away on April 8, 1973, in Mougins, France, but his artistic legacy continues to inspire and captivate audiences worldwide.

Available as a fine art print and as a stretched canvas panel (heavy fine art canvas stretched over 1.5 inch deep edge solid wood frame)

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All prints are made using archival art stocks and UV pigment inks to give up to 200 years life. Prints are sold unframed and unmounted.



All orders for unframed fine art prints and original paintings are dispatched within 2 working days of receipt of payment.

Orders for custom framed prints are dispatched within 4 working days.

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Size and Printed Materials

Fine art papers are printed without any additional white border Please let us know at the time of ordering if you would like a small additional white border.

Rolled canvas options have an additional white border of approximately 2.5 inches (7cm) on all 4 sides to aid stretching.

Ready to hang canvas panels are stretched on 1.5 inch deep solid pine frames from sustainable forestry sources. The image is mirrored on all 4 sides to give an aesthetically pleasing finish.

Gift Wrap Option

Why not have us gift wrap your order and attach a personalised message to the recipient. Available for all orders. Each order is hand wrapped in high quality gift wrap with meatllic ribbon and bow. Your personalised message is printed on a card which is included with your order.

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Framing Options - Instructions

We have a wide range of frames in standard sizes and we also make custom size frames.

To order a framed print:

1. select the print size you would like along with the print materials (matte paper, fine art paper).

2. Add your print choice to the basket.

3. Choose from our range of frames

4. Select the same size as the print you have added to your basket. If the frame size you want is not listed please contact us

5. Choose from the mount or no-mount option

6. Add your frame choice to the basket

7. Proceed to checkout.

Why Choose GalleryThane?

  • Printed and framed in-house
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  • Gift wrapping service available
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We have invested in the latest wide format print technology to produce museum quality giclee prints utilising the highest quality pigment inks to give outstanding colour reproduction.

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We print on the finest quality fine art papers with textured, smooth and lustre finishes for prints which last a lifetime.

From aceo miniatures to 40x80 inch large format, every print has our lifetime quality guaranteee.

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All of the wood for our canvas panels and frames is responsibly sourced from manages forests. Our cotton canvas is completely seedless for the highest quality reproduction possible.

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