The Sexuality of Pablo Picasso Essay

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Pablo Picasso is generally considered one of the best and most influential artists of the modernist era and perhaps of all time. His personal life was anything but stable, marked by a vast sex drive that caused him to have multiple wives and mistresses, constantly searching for new women as he lost interest with his former lovers. This womanizing aspect of his personality and the tumultuous times in his life resulting from it had a great effect on his art. A large number of his works have a sexual component to them, such as nudity, phallic and vaginal imagery, and depictions of sexual acts. Furthermore, it becomes apparent that Picasso dehumanized women in his art, turning them into sexual objects rather than human beings. The …show more content…
Walter’s head splits into two pieces, resembling a phallus, implying that sex is on her mind. Her hands rest on her lap on top of her crotch, with the interlacing fingers forming a vaginal image. This is a prime example of Picasso using phallic and vaginal imagery, reoccurring themes in many of his works. Additionally, this sexualization of Marie-Therese Walter also dehumanizes her, as we will see he does with most women in his paintings. The split in her head makes her seem less human and more of an object that Picasso manipulates. Eventually, Picasso’s craving for sex further affected his personal life, as he found a new object of desire in Dora Maar, the next in his string of mistresses and wives. Marie-Therese Walter deeply wished to marry Picasso for the rest of her life, eventually hanging herself several years after his death. The next works we will examine are examples of how Picasso’s sexuality affected his work from the beginning of his career. At the very young age of 13, Picasso’s sexual persona began to be revealed with a drawing of two donkeys fornicating. When Picasso was 16, he visited several brothels in Paris and Barcelona and produced a number of drawings from these experiences. These works included nude women by themselves but also performing sexual acts with other participants. In 1903, he painted La Douleur, also known as Scene Erotique, a work depicting a young man receiving oral sex from a woman. It is believed that the man

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