Les at the time, but was perceived as

Les Demoiselles d’Avignon was painted in 1907 by Pablo Picasso. The painting portrays five nude women from a brothel on Carrer d’Avinyó (Avignon Street) in Barcelona. Prostitution was a common job for women at the time, but was perceived as immoral by the public; the painting was ill-received at its exhibition in 1916.
Picasso painted it in his Rose Period using oil on canvas. He was also starting to experiment with Cubism. Les Demoiselles d’Avignon shows how African art had strongly influenced Picasso. The African inspirations can be seen in the flatness of the figures, as well as the women’s mask-like faces.
The vivid colours used in the painting clash with each other (the blue and the orange/pink) and create a discordant atmosphere. The five women are made up of simple, abstract 2D shapes and there is little detail or tone. The women take up almost the entire frame and that makes the painting feel cluttered. Their unsymmetrical faces and angular body shapes the women look unattractive and uninviting. Three figures on the left show facial features in the Iberian style, and the two on the right are influenced by African masks. All five of them are facing or looking at the front and appear static (they look like they are posing at a camera).


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