modernism in art

late impressionism through surrealism

Analytic Cubism


• SH video, Pablo Picasso, Les Demoiselles d'Avignon

• review SH essay, Primitivism and modern art

• SH essay, Pablo Picasso, Three Women

• SH video, Pablo Picasso and the new language of Cubism

• SH essay, Cubism and multiple perspectives

• selection from the Cubist critics Olivier-Hourcade and Rivière (primary source)

• SH essay, Georges Braque, Violin and Palette

• SH essay, Braque and Picasso: Two Cubist Musicians

• SH essay, Salon Cubism

key terms and concepts: vanitas painting, primitivism, multiple perspectives, drawing what you know vs. drawing what you see, analytic Cubism, hermetic Cubism

• What was the original intended meaning/purpose of Picasso's Demoiselles d'Avignon? How does the work recall traditional Dutch still-lives and Academic paintings of female nudes? How did Picasso's ideas for conveying that message evolve as he worked on it, if we compare the work to the preliminary sketch below? Be able to discuss the exclusion of the men, the inclusion of the African masks, and the change in style particularly.

• How does the Demoiselles show the first inklings of what would become analytic Cubism?

• What was the overall aim of analytic Cubism? What is 'multiple perspectives' and how does it help to achieve that aim?  What does it have to do with 'drawing what you know' (conceptual) rather than 'drawing what you see' (perceptual)?

• Where have we seen the use of multiple perspectives already this semester? How is the use of multiple perpectives different from the depiction of space in traditional naturalistic works? Did Picasso and Braque 'invent' the use of multiple perspectives, or had it been used before in visual representation?

• Why do the critics Olivier-Hourcade and Rivière say that the use of multiple perspectives is actually more true to reality than traditional perspective? How does traditional perspective actually distort objects? Why, according to those readings, did the Cubists also tend to paint in monochrome (gray/brown) and reject the use of a single, consistent light source? Be able to analyze the works below in relation to these questions.

• Now think about this:  in what sense can both Impressionism (and neo-Impressionism) and Cubism both be cited as ‘realist’ movements -- albeit in very different ways?  What did each movement understand by ‘reality’ and how did each attempt to be faithful to it?

• We looked at the evolution of analytic Cubism in four distinct phases: proto-Cubism (such as the Demoiselles, analytic Cubism (such as Braque's Violin and Palette), hermetic Cubism (such as Braque's The Portuguese), and synthetic Cubism (which we'll look at for next exam period).

Picasso, Les Demoiselles d'Avignon, 1907

Picasso, Study for the Demoiselles, 1906-07

Braque, Violin and Palette, Analytic Cubism, 1909-10

Braque, The Portuguese, Hermetic Cubism, 1911-12

Jean Metzinger, Le Gouter (Tea Time), Analytic Cubism, 1911