African Masks And Their Influence On The Artist 's Own Imagination

792 Words Sep 30th, 2015 4 Pages
Art is based on influences and creative works, having the ability to visualize outside influences while manipulating them in the artist’s own imagination is truly stunning. Henri Matisse along with Pablo Picasso are few of many that could use that outside “influence” and depict it in a beautiful and subtle way. African sculptures and tribal masks caused a vast effect on both artists, and so each artist adopted the use of this non-Western art form in different ways. African art was introduced to many Europeans and artists during the colonial phase and served as a great source in Matisse’s The Young Sailor as well as, Picasso’s Les Demoiselles. The tradition of African masks was religious and impressionable, which is why Les Demoiselles is so admired. African masks are used for ceremonial and religious purposes in many part of Africa (Finley 1999) and they induce a ritual affection among many tribes. The masks could have different uses depending on the tribe, some tribes use the masks as a ritual and others use the masks as part of commencements. Finley states that, “Masks are considered vessels of spiritual power” (p. 14) but values could also be taught through the masks. In Les Demoiselles the two figures on the right are a prime representation of African art and the power of presentiment that the masks exhibit. The observer could clearly tell that African masks were the main source of this piece, additionally the painting led to “the birth of Cubism” (Murrell, 2008, n.…

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