INTRODUCTION interpretations of the African period, it is

on AFRICAN PERIOD /Pablo Picasso / Henri Matisse /)

 The African period is one of the most
interesting periods from my point of view. This is because it was a time where
by European artists was being exposed to this whole new art world from a
different continent  so this meant that
they were being  exposed to new shapes,
new materials, different forms and much more. 

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The two artists that I picked for my
comparative study were both influenced heavily by the African period. Those artists
being, Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse. The reason I choose these two artists
was one I am a big fan of their works and they are artists that have changed
the history of greatly.

The thing that drew me to Picasso and Matisse
was their different interpretations of the African period, it is amazing to see
how two artists can go through or even see the same exact thing but create two
completely different art pieces.

African Period

During the 20th century
African artworks were being shipped back to Paris museums in consequence of the
intensification of the French empire into Sub-Saharan Africa. The press was
abuzz with exaggerated stories of cannibalism and exotic tales about the
African kingdom of Dahomey. It was natural in this climate of African interest
that Picasso would look towards African artworks as inspiration for some of his
work; his interest was sparked by Henri Matisse who showed him a mask from the
Dan people of Africa.

Pablo Picasso

 The name Pablo Picasso is without doubt one of
those widely known artists . picasso was a Spanish artist born in Malaga on
October 25, 1881, died April 8, 1973 in Mougins, buried in the park of the
Castle of Vauvenargues. Picasso  was a  painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist and
stage designer. Like I have said before picasso was influenced by African art
which was coming from west africa and what fascinated in particular was his way
of  recreating the masks in his pieces
and make it fit so perfectly with the western art concepts.                                                       

Henri Matisse

Henri Matisse was born in 1869 at
Cateau-Cambresis in the North of the France and later on Died in November 03,
1954  he was a painter and sculptor.
Matisse is considered to be the greatest colorists of the twentieth century  made the acquaintance of Gustave Moreau, in
the workshop of which he copy works, then made more personal works. In 1904,
first exhibition of Matisse at the Ambroise Vollard Gallery.matisse took part
in various movement such as fauvism,modernism,post-impressionism and in all
these movements he left strong print behind in his legacy.

Mbete people

Mbete people are a people of Central Africa established in the south-west of the
Republic of Congo and south-east of Gabon.



The Artworks and their Context


Artist: Pablo
Period: Cubism
Location: Museum
of Modern Art
Dimensions: 243.9
cm × 233.7 cm (96 in × 92 in)
Created: 1907–1907
Medium: Oil


The painting, les demoiselles
d’avignon, was painted by Pablo Picasso back in 1907 in Paris, France. the
title of the painting translates to young ladies of Avignon  , which is a street in Spain which is
associated with prostitution  . This
particular piece is one of the most popular examples of cubism and Picasso
being one of the first people to have used cubism. This particular piece was
somehow the birth of cubism.  In this
painting Picasso went against the traditional ways of painting during their by
disorienting the female’s body and using geometric forms to create the illusion
of the females body . This piece also shows the influence of African art on Picasso.
The sketches of this piece at first contained two male a figures , a sailor and
a medicine student .The sailor was placed at the centre of the piece   

2 blue nude 1907

Artist: Henri Matisse
Location: Baltimore Museum of Art
Period: Fauvism
Created: 1907
Medium: Oil on canvas
Dimensions: 92.1 cm × 140.3 cm (36.3 in × 55.2 in


The blue nude by Matisse ia a result
of African art influence, this piece was created when Matisse had just come
back from a vacation in Algeria and if you look at the physic of the woman it
was quite unusual at the time .this was because during his era women were
supposed to be drawn in a feminine way or in other words drawn in a way that
made them seem weak, Well  that’s
how  white  woman was meant to be drawn since it was  believed that the white race had evolved
completely while the black race looked more like our ancestors who weren’t
completely evolved so this meant that the black women and men apparently had a
lot  of similarities since they weren’t
fully evolved. This painting was at first very resented which led to it being
burnt when the 1913 armony show moved to Chicago.


3. Reliquary: Standing Male Figure

19th century
Gabon or Republic of Congo
Kota peoples, Mbete group
Wood, pigment, metal, cowrie shells
32.5 in. (82.6 cm)


Mbete artists built up an allegorical
reliquary shape that completely coordinated genealogical sacra inside the
figure.. In this tradition, a
hollowed columnar torso served as an internal receptacle. That core is framed
by the gesture of minimally defined arms held to either side and supported
below by knees bent above broad muscular calves. The strained stance of
the figures recommends their part as
active guardian to the reliquary’s contents. . Access to the substance
was managed through a dorsal gap.






Les Demoiselles d’Avignon



Les demoiselles d’avignon The artistic
creation presents us with an awkward mosaic of rakish and covering sections of
five female nudes, no less than two of whom gaze provocatively at the watcher.
Its “Cubist highlights” join effectively with its rough structures
and bestial covers to both stun and test the watcher.

are shockingly present, squeezing
themselves to the surface of the photo. The shade of their tissue influences
them to show up starkly bare as opposed to just bare. Furthermore, the way the
figures are gathered is likewise striking: there has all the earmarks of being
no association between them, which elevates the show of the photo and in
addition its vulnerability. The two focal ladies, specifically, are
particularly provocative: they gaze vacuously out at the watcher, while lifting
up their arms to demonstrate their bosoms. These ladies – all forcefully
displaying their nakedness – are genuine whores with no hang-ups about what
they bring to the table. The head of one figure (upper right) is secured with a
crude veil; while a moment, hunching down, figure (base right) is likewise
covered, despite the fact that her face is comprised of different perspectives,
similar to a seriously organized jigsaw.


Diana and callisto 1556-59 by titian



The blue nude



The areas that I highlighted in the
painting, blue nude , are   points that I
think need to to be talked about in my visual analysis because  they hold symbolic meanings that were
influenced by the African period .During Matisse’s era women  were  indeed drawn naked  but  certain
ways that the women was to be drawn


The first highlighted feature being
the arm and this was the first thing that caught my attention in this except
from the woman being naked. If you look at the other pieces of  nude women created during that time line you
tend to see that the women were portrayed to be weak , small, not too curvy but
when you look at the arm in the blue nude you can tell she has biceps and this
was were matisse was going against what I would call a trend

thing that I have noticed in this painting is that the  arm didn’t have the same gravity as the
breasts ,by this I mean that if you look at what I would the gravity la w in
this painting the breast would have been expected to be pulled down by gravity.


Function and purpose
































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