There is something undeniably creepy and alien about the women portrayed in Pablo Picasso’s masterpiece, Les Demoiselles d’Avignon. He painted this in 1907, though it wasn’t shown publicly until nearly a decade later. When it was finally revealed, it was like Picasso threw a plasma bomb into the art world. It was immoral. Outrageous.
According to the BBC series, The Private Life of a Masterpiece :
Les Demoiselles D’Avignon shattered the image of the female form in painting.The contorted, angular bodies of the prostitutes in Picasso’s work were a far cry from the curvaceous, sensuous nudes that had adorned galleries for centuries.
Completed in 1907, the finished painting wasn’t exhibited publicly until 1916, acquiring its present title. Nicknamed The Young Ladies of Avignon by the exhibition’s organiser, the name stuck, much to Picasso’s annoyance. He insisted that, to him, it would always be called My Brothel.
So yes, many a model of Picasso did end up absorbing his “essences” in one way or another. But don’t get me wrong, Picasso was possibly the most influential painter of the 20th century. As Newsweek said:
The man created fine art’s equivalent of rock and roll and then put in seven decades producing some of modernism’s greatest hits. It’s as if Chuck Berry and Elvis were one person who made it to age 91.
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Want to get in on this game of slapping SF titles on famous paintings? Send me an email markarayner (at) gmail.com or a notice via Twitter (@markarayner). There are some other new efforts to check out already! The gallery of Famous Paintings with SF Titles is here.