Happy birthday to artist Pablo Picasso, born on this day in 1881. The artist shattered representational tradition through the development of cubism. Take a careful look at "Nude Woman," painted in 1910. What parts of the figure can you identify?
In 1909, a Brooklyn painter and critic commissioned eleven paintings as a decoration for his library from Picasso. "Nude Woman" may be the first of the paintings Picasso produced for the commission. Its narrow, vertical format is unusual in the artist's oeuvre, but in other respects the painting is typical of Picasso's analytic cubist style. The painting appears as disembodied shards of modeled form. Sharp lines delineate these forms, which describe roughly geometric shapes. We see a kind of grid pattern across the surface of the canvas. The color scheme of "Nude Woman," limited to shades of brown, gray, and black, is also typical of analytic cubism. The muted palette allowed Picasso to concentrate upon the depiction of subtly shifting, overlapping planes in shallow space.
See "Nude Woman" on view on the Mezzanine level of the East Building: http://go.usa.gov/xkGCa
Pablo Picasso, "Nude Woman," 1910, oil on canvas, National Gallery of Art, Washington, Ailsa Mellon Bruce Fund © 2012 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York