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The Painting Reclining Woman on the Beach - Essay Example

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The researcher of this essay focuses on the Reclining Woman on the Beach by Pablo Picasso. It is one of Pablo Picasso’s earliest works, and contains many elements that are both similar and different from the cubism that would make him famous in years to come. …
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The Painting Reclining Woman on the Beach
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"The Painting Reclining Woman on the Beach"

Download file to see previous pages The essay "The Painting Reclining Woman on the Beach" explores Pablo Picasso's painting. This painting Reclining Woman on the Beach has two distinct and strongly contrasting elements, the first being the woman and the beach she is lying on, and the second being the mountains and sky that serve as a background to the image. The woman and the beach she is lying on both use thick lines and broad, sweeping curves to define their shapes, while the mountain tops in the background are jagged geometric affairs like triangular teeth cutting into the sky, which creates offset parallel strucutures between the sky and the mountains – that is, if you mirrored the sky over a horizontal plane of the painting, it would make the shape of the mountains, and the mountains would make the shape of the sky. The coloration in the two main elements are also vastly different – the woman is predominantly pale or pearly, but has many dashes of different colors throughout her body, that fade in and out gradually – green in some places, purple in others and so on. The mountains and sky, on the other hand, are broad swaths of a single color, with the mountains having distinct blotches of white on them. The jagged mountain tops serve as a geometrical counterpoint to the curve of the woman, emphasizing her curviness and underscoring the fundamental importance of curves to a woman’s beauty or form. Furthermore, the softy changing colors on the woman’s body could indicate aging, and imply mutability, which combined with her soft curves. contrast with the broad expanses of unchanging colors on the mountains and the sky, reminding the viewer about the corruptibility of beauty and the frailty of life, especially when compared with the age old mountains that go on essentially unchanged. With all this contrast, Picasso ties together the two elements by treating them with broadly the same light and texture to create a unified work out of all of these disparate parts. There are many elements of design present that touch on similar topics to the elements of form. The scale of the woman, who takes up the vast majority of the space on the canvas, both implies the woman is in the foreground (obviously) but also puts her in a relative position of power over the mountains, which are made subordinate by their less imposing size. She even casts a shadow on the mountains, making it appear that they are in fact close behind her and she is simply massive, further reinforcing her importance. The mountains are essentially the same shape, repeated again and again, which serves to emphasize their regularity and eternal nature, which calls the viewer’s attention to how unique the woman reclining on the beach is, that she is one-of-a kind, and that every person, while sharing forma similarities to other people, is completely unique. This composition is notably lacking in white space, with the closest things being the sky in the background and the orange shape that takes up a portion of the right side of the screen. This both makes the woman seem to be the negative space, but also gives a crowded compositional element to contrast to the woman’s apparent ease. The content of this work appears to be an analysis of the woman’s form, a kind of toying with it that over-emphasizes some shapes while under-emphasizing others. The ratio of the woman’s head to the rest of her body may be a telling indication of the focus of the piece, which could be set to objectify the woman who is at its heart. It also touches on themes of beauty, of the unique visual nature of each individual human, and of the soft, changing mutability of human nature in contrast to the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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