Women Of Algiers By Pablo Picasso

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Women of Algiers Women of Algiers (Picasso, P. 1955) is a cubist style painting by Pablo Picasso, depicting a brothel scene in which women are selling their bodies. Patched in vibrant colours and patterns the painting displays four women, with the main focus being the female on the left. Incidentally she is the only one that has a head, the rest are just breasts and legs. The style of the painting leaves these women most disturbingly chopped and sliced up, missing parts of their bodies but still positioned in a sexual way. Picasso’s choice not to include heads for most of the women emphasises the objectification that he is portraying, as if seeing their faces was unimportant in comparison to their naked bodies. This work was inspired by a painting by Eugène Delacroix, titled “Women of Algiers in their Apartment” (Delacroix, E, 1834). The romantic style painting depicts four Algerian mistresses of a harem in a room with a hookah. The painting was controversial in the 19th century for its sexual content and use of oriental figures, although notably the women are all fully clothed in this painting unlike in Picasso’s. Simply the portrayal of these foreign concubines was enough at the time for it to be seen as sexual by the public, and at times critics’ own knowledge about the East was added in to emphasise the “moralising truth” about the painting that Delacroix had not even added himself (Porterfield, T. 1998). Picasso may have taken these opinions and assumptions about

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