Henri Matisse's Les Demoiselles

Improved Essays
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 …show more content…
Matisse focused mainly on portraits, studio interiors, still life and the female figure, (Dabrowski 2004) while Picasso favored Cubism. Les Demoiselles caused a huge recognition in the 20th century due to the clear of use of Cubism, especially regarding the African masks. The African sculptures caused Picasso to move away from paintings that were based on entertainment but more towards freeing the human mind of reality (Dabrowski 2004). Picasso never really gave African art credit but masked-faces were evident in his paintings such as, Bust of a Man, Woman’s Head and Woman in an Armchair all which contained geometric proportions (Murrell 2008). Colonialism was happening when these avant-grade artists began experimenting with African art. Beginning in the 1870s African sculptures were introduced to Europe after the colonial subjugation and during expeditions to West Africa (Murrell 2008). An interest of non-Western broke out among many modern day artists and their followers, that interest became known as Primitivism, which is a term that describes the standpoint of artists on non-Western art (Murrell 2008). As a final point, Henri Matisse and Pablo Picasso along with their School of Paris members played a very important role in the spread of African-influenced sculptures and masks to all of Europe. Using the spiritual aspect of the masks both artists were able to

Related Documents

  • Superior Essays

    Picasso was inspired to make this painting when he went to a museum of ethnographic in which it had African sculptures he tried to combine the angular structures of the “primitive art” and his new ideas about cubism (Voorhies). This new stile had a lot of mixed reactions from his viewers some of Picassos fellow artists were horrified and disappointed in his new style of depicting African Americans in his new cubistic form and others were mesmerized and very interested in this new way of painting. Another one of Willem de Koonings paintings is called “Woman/Verso: Untitled” this particular painting is one of his surviving painting from his women series: year 1948. He used a lot of different materials in his painting a lot of his paint was specifically made in his home other things he used were Oil and enamel it was also painted on a fiberboard. Picasos painting on the other hand was created on a large canvas and used oil paints.…

    • 2081 Words
    • 8 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Superior Essays

    The Harlem Renaissance represented the birth of a new beginning of freedom and identity for the black artists. Following the Great Migration, blacks began to form black communities and the level of confidence in themselves and their culture. Blacks became active, known and self-assertive. Through the arts, the idea of a new type of proud, self-accepting Negro was constantly expressed. This is revealed in Zora Neale Hurston’s writing, because she uses Southern vernacular as well as Harlem slang, to the disdain of other African American authors.…

    • 1088 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    African Art Research Paper

    • 1123 Words
    • 5 Pages

    African culture is more enlarge then American and European culture because of the length of the tradition. African art started to become popular to American’s and European around 1905, when artists began to realize the aesthetic value of African sculpture. Few of the artists started to work on African culture and arts among them Vlaminck, Derain, Picasso, and Modigliani were very popular during that time. They were influenced by African art forms and started to explore it more to create the diversity between the modern and African culture. After their great efforts; Interest in the arts of Africa has started to raise, and many modern Western artists began to feel the importance of African art and architecture.…

    • 1123 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    African Influence On Jazz

    • 1376 Words
    • 6 Pages

    The primary factor was the importation of African slaves to a world dominated by warring European colonists-- particularly the French, Spanish, and English. In striving to keep African musical traditions alive, the slaves eventually found ways to blend them with the abiding traditions of Europe, producing hybrid in North and South America unlike anything in the old world.” In 1987, the U.S. Congress passed a resolution declaring jazz a “Valuable National American treasure,” but the full text summarizes the confusion distributed by the music’s contradictory qualities. Jazz is an “art form” brought to the American people through well-funded classes and art programs, but it is also a “people’s music” that came upward from the desires of ordinary people. It is “an indigenous American music,” but also international, having been “adopted by musicians around the world.” People may never know where exactly jazz came from, but why worry about that. People should enjoy listening to the engaging music or maybe even learn how to play it…

    • 1376 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Abina and The Important Men is a collaboration between a South African artist Liz Clarke and Trevor Getz, who is a modern African and world Historian at San Francisco State University. Getz is known in his field for his earlier work, Slavery and Reform in West Africa, which is a book about slavery and the abolition of slavery in West Africa. The most interesting thing about Getz writing in this book is it is a history about women who have no history and the more important males of society due to their mere common interest, blur these women’s stories and accusations. In this essay, Abina and The Important Men will get a thorough review of structure and analysis of text and response in regards to how I as a reader perceived the book. The comic…

    • 896 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    African Art Museum Essay

    • 732 Words
    • 3 Pages

    One of the women had her arms stretched opened as if welcoming the viewer to this land of mystery. This painting brings about a point in Edward Said’s Orientalism. Said states, “the Orient was almost a European invention, and had been since antiquity a place of romance, exotic beings, haunting memories and landscapes, remarkable experiences” (Said, 1). The painting also exemplifies Malek Alloula’s claim on symbolic violence and how “painters and photographers [are] forever thirsty for exoticism” (Alloula, 3). In the same section I discovered another painting whose description brought to mind a common stereotype about African people.…

    • 732 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    Although the painting is seen as the first Cubist work, before beginning the Cubist phase of his painting, he spent several years exploring African art. During this time the French empire was expanding into Africa, and African artifacts were being brought back to Paris museums. The press was abuzz with exaggerated stories of cannibalism and exotic tales about the African kingdom of Dahomey. Also talked about was the mistreatment of Africans in the Belgian Congo with Joseph Conrad 's popular book Heart of Darkness. It was natural therefore in this climate of African interest that Picasso would look towards African artifacts as inspiration for some of his…

    • 1048 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Great Essays

    In order to get the cheapest labor for future plans in the New World, Europeans travelled to Africa in search of people who would soon become slaves (Weissman 6). It was these slaves who found a sense of peace in the music they would later begin to create. After continuous years of slave labor in America, a “cultural process” began to occur. African-American slaves began to gain a sense of themselves and thus started to bond together to create African-American culture (Steinberg 7). This culture led to an explosion of tunes that included harmonious…

    • 2438 Words
    • 10 Pages
    Great Essays
  • Improved Essays

    African masks, or African art in general proved to be very different from the European art they were used to, and different was what they were after. Figure 3: African masks (http://www.genuineafrica.com/images/Rasta/African_Masks/African-Masks-Rasta-Mask-16-Front.jpg) It is safe to say that Cubism managed to completely revolutionize the art world. Born in France, but emigrating cross Europe, cubism integrated with the artistic consciousness of several countries. Cubism influenced several of the major design and architectural styles of the 2th century and prevails to this day as mode of expression in the language of art. Cubism has single handedly changed the world of art, making people see things through an entirely different, or lots of different, perspectives.…

    • 1305 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    This sculpture was a physical representation for the song, created to enhance the message and give hope to the black community. The painting Aspects of Negro Life: From Slavery Through Reconstruction (1934) by Aaron Douglas is part of a series of wall paintings that depict different aspects of black history. This painting is an example of how African Americans were building a new identity after the reconstruction. The painting shows the shift in the place of African Americans in society, from slavery to emancipation. Douglas depicts the emancipated slaves as celebrating their triumph through music and dance.…

    • 1001 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays