Art Contrast Paper
Course Title and Code
Art Contrast Paper
Les Demoiselles d'Avignon by Pablo Picasso and Street, Berlin by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner are two of the most important artworks by the most famous artist in the history of the art. The two painters who had born during the later years of the nineteenth century rose to fame during the early years of the twentieth century. The two artworks also belong to the same era as Pablo Picasso created Les Demoiselles d'Avignon in the year 1907, however it became public in the year 1916. On the other hand, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner created Street, Berlin in the year 1913. Both of the artworks have been created using the medium of oil on canvas and depicts the prostitutes. The two artworks Les Demoiselles d'Avignon by Pablo Picasso and Street, Berlin by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner may have been similar to each other in the use of the medium, the subject matter, technique and iconography, however, they are quite different from other in their depiction and composition.
The artwork by Pablo Picasso, Les Demoiselles d'Avignon represents five naked prostitutes in a single frame. The artists have used a sharp contrast of light and dark presentation, in addition to the deformed presentation of the prostitutes. The visual analysis of the artworks reveals that fact that although the prostitutes are depicted in an attractive style as if they are welcoming or inviting the guest, their faces and specifically eye deeply contrast with their posture, as they are quite dark and emotionless. The expressionless eyes and face of the prostitutes depict their agony. Moreover, two of the women are trying to conceal their face from the world through the utilization of the African style masks. The artist has mostly used the shade of pink for presenting the prostitutes, while the colors like blue, silver and red are also present at some points, where the artist wants to highlight some feature or point (Picasso).
On the other hand, the artwork by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, which is Street, Berlin, also represents the prostitutes. However, there are only two in this artwork. The two of them are present on a street and are quite well dressed. They are following the fashion of the era by having on the fur coats with the feather in their caps, however, it is still representing their identity and it seems as if they are there to attract their customers. The artwork does not only include the two prostitutes, but there are a number of men around them. Almost ten of the men can be counted in the artwork even though, they are not presented in great detail as compared to the two prostitutes. It can be said that the two of them are the highlight of the frame, as they are taking almost the whole place of the canvas and the men are depicted in the corners of the canvas. One of the most important thing, which is apparent in the visual analysis of the artwork is that the faces of the prostitutes have been developed in quite great detail while paying special attention to their features and expressions. On the other hand, the men in the frame are depicted without a particular identity and it seems as if they are the copy of each other. The artist has also used quite sharp as well as contrasting colors to highlight the difference between the prostitutes and the men present in the frame. One of the women is wing a dress of purple color, while the other one is wearing a dark green color. On the other hand, all the men present in the frame are all wearing the same black and have almost the same appearance, comprising of coats and hats. Another important aspect of the artwork highlighted by its visual analysis is the pop of color on the faces of the prostitutes, which is the main thing highlighting their status in the society (Wye, Kirchner, and New York Museum of Modern Art).
The comparison of the two artworks reveals that they share a great number of similarity. One of the most important out of them is that the two artworks were created in the same era, with a difference of almost six years. The subject matter of the two artworks is also the same as both represent prostitutes. The two artworks highlight the major themes of their era which comprise of alienation, loneliness, identity crisis and anxiety of fitting the modern society. The society had just started its transition to modernity during that time period, after the industrialization and the improvisation of the field of medicine and health care. The material and medium of the two artworks are also similar comprising of oil on canvas and the use of the sharp colors to highlight the presence of the prostitutes. The two artists have also utilized the sharp contrast of light and dark colors in order to make the prostitutes more prominent on the canvas. The technique and style of the two artworks are also similar, as both of the artists have utilized the art form of cubism in their pieces, which was specifically famous during that time period. The iconography is another important aspect which highlights the similarity of the two artworks, as both represent the prostitutes, in a comparatively attractive style, however, having expressionless eyes. The expressionless eyes of the prostitutes are the icon of their dilemma. The two artworks are also similar because the artists have utilized the sharp colors in their presentation.
Apart from a number of similarities, there are some differences between the two artworks as well. One of the most important out of them is that even the two artists have used the same subject matter of their presentations, however, the style of presentation is deeply contrasted to each other. Kirchner has presented the prostitutes in a moderate manner by depicting them on the street, among the men, however, quite well dressed. He has highlighted their status through his presentation, while not making it too open or modern. On the other hand, Picasso has presented the prostitutes in naked form, which also received the criticism of the society as well. Another sharp contrast between the two artworks is that Kirchner has mostly used the darker tones like that of purple, green and black. On the other hand, Picasso has used the lighter tones of pink, blue and silver. The composition of the artworks is also different from each other because Picasso’s represent multiple prostitutes, in a single frame in a sharp manner. While that of Kirchner represents the two prostitutes hanging or dragged on the whole frame, with men being added in the corners of the frame.
Les Demoiselles d'Avignon by Pablo Picasso and Street, Berlin by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner are two of the most famous artworks of the famous artists. The artworks share the similarity of the same subject, which is the prostitutes. Moreover, the two artworks have been using the medium of oil on canvas and the style of cubism. The two artworks were also created during the same time period. Moreover, the two artworks have the difference of representing the same subject through deferent styles. The two artworks are the depiction of the mastery of their artists and are still quite famous even after a century of their creation.
Picasso, Pablo. Picasso's: Les Demoiselles D'Avignon. Cambridge University Press, 2001.
Wye, Deborah, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, and New York Museum of Modern Art. Kirchner and the Berlin Street: the Museum of Modern Art New York;[published in conjunction with the exhibition... at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, August 3-November 10, 2008]. Museum of Modern Art, 2008.
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