Picasso's Demoiselles

Picasso's Demoiselles: The Untold Origins of a Modern Masterpiece
TitlePicasso's Demoiselles: The Untold Origins of a Modern Masterpiece
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2019
AuthorBlier, Suzanne Preston
Number of Pages448
PublisherDuke University Press Books
ISBN or ASIN Number1478000198
KeywordsAfrican Art, African History, Women in History
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In Picasso's Demoiselles, eminent art historian Suzanne Preston Blier uncovers the previously unknown history of Pablo Picasso's Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, one of the twentieth century's most important, celebrated, and studied paintings. Drawing on her expertise in African art and newly discovered sources, Blier reads the painting not as a simple bordello scene but as Picasso's interpretation of the diversity of representations of women from around the world that he encountered in photographs and sculptures. These representations are central to understanding the painting's creation and help identify the demoiselles as global figures, mothers, grandmothers, lovers, and sisters, as well as part of the colonial world Picasso inhabited. Simply put, Blier fundamentally transforms what we know about this revolutionary and iconic work.