Les Demoiselles d’Avignon
‘I will have my place,’ says the ambitious young Spaniard. ‘I will be the world’s greatest painter.’
The older artist doubts this hubris, although this does not prevent him returning the following day to present a painting as a gift. When Matisse leaves, Picasso mocks the older man, and at his Paris lodgings, Le Bateau-Lavoir, he reminds his entourage that, in 1907, this is a still a new century and they are in the midst of a new and exciting movement.
Picasso has done with the Blue Period, he has shrugged off the developmental Rose Period, now he is moving more and more into the angularity that will become Cubism. He sets to work on a piece that is inspired by African masks and the Iberian statues he has seen at the Louvre. Of course, there is nothing particularly bold about painting nudes, but Picasso approaches the task from an entirely new angle. Animalistic, confident and threatening, the women stare out from their two-dimensional plane at the viewer, daring comment.
He stands away from what he has done to admire the jagged and disjointed look of the painting. "Mon bordel," he exclaims. The shout will resonate around the world for years to come.
Henry Bladon is a writer and art lover based in Somerset in the UK. He writes all types of fiction. He has a PhD in creative writing and runs a writing support group for people with mental health issues. His work can be seen in Writers’ Forum, MicrofictionMonday, FridayFlashFiction, thedrabble, entropy2, and 50-Word Stories , amongst other places.
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