©Pablo Picasso - Nude. Bust 1907

Picasso Nude. Bust 1907
Nude. Bust
1907 61x46cm oil/canvas
The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia

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From The State Hermitage Museum:
As early as 1906 Picasso began to reveal a daring break with his former, more realistic, style and a move towards the unknown. Caught up in a desire to escape from the limits of mere visual likeness, seeking a symbolic system which would express essential concepts, he discovered the expressiveness of Iberian sculpture and African art. In 1906-1907 Picasso produced his renowned Les Demoiselles d'Avignon (Museum of Modern Art, New York), a work central which is considered to mark the birth of Cubism. He also produced a large number of sketches and independent works more or less related to the large canvas, amongst them this Hermitage work. The rough forms and the mask-like face indicate the artist's debt to African sculpture in his search for primeval, supra-individual forms which would be expressive, constructive and yet mysterious. For all the novelty of his emphatically geometric and schematic artistic language, Picasso managed to leave an expression of sorrow in the face, the lowered lids helping create that absolute concentration within the self which had been characteristic of the artist's Blue and Pink periods.