Archives for the month of: August, 2015



What I should like to bring home to you is the incredible heroism

                of a man such as Picasso whose moral isolation at that period

was something frightful, for none of his painter friends had followed him.

                                                                                                                                  Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler (1884 – 1979)

In 1907 a work that revolutionised artistic conventions, Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, was conceived by the Spanish artist Pablo Picasso (1881-1973). It has only been since his estate was left to the state of France in 1987 that it has been possible to trace the progressive thoughts and ideas that evolved to become this monumental landmark painting. After examining the origins of Picasso, this essay will endeavour to reveal the major influences, features and reactions to a work of art that has become the cornerstone of modern art.

 Picasso was one of the first artists to challenge artistic convention and move into the realm…

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“My whole life as an artist has been nothing other than a continual struggle against the forces of reaction and the death of art.” PICASSO

( Levy, L.1990:95)

Pablo Picasso was one of the pre-eminent artists of the twentieth century. He and his work was the subject of unending analysis, gossip, dislike, adoration and rumour. Due to the advent of global mass media, no other painter or sculptor had been as famous as this through their own lifetime (Hughes, R., His work expanded continually through experimentation and innovation right up to his death at the age of ninety-two. The public saw him as the ‘archetypal modernist’ (Hughes, R. but unlike Modernists such as Kandinsky or Mondrian, his work is full of sensation, desire and metaphor conveyed with a tremendous plastic force. Because of the prodigiousness of his output and his many explorations into different media…

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‘Goya’s prints and paintings survive with terrifying force because they castigate not merely the superstitions of eighteenth century Spaniards but all the malevolent powers of bigotry…’ (Tomory, P.A., p.80). The imagery and imagination that pervades Goya’s work in the first phase of his career was deeply influenced by the cultural and social events of his contemporary world. The eighteenth century was a period of great social change in Europeand Goya was one of the primary artists to depict this time. In this essay I will focus on the cultural influences in his tapestry designs and paintings of the 1790s, and the social influences in his etching series Los Caprichos.

The eighteenth century ushered in a new period of thinking in the Western world which was to bring marked political, social and economic changes. This period was called the Enlightenment and encouraged critical thinking independent of religious or superstitious doctrines. Artists…

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