"WHERE DEATH BECOMES ABSURD AND LIFE ABSURDER": LITERARY VIEWS OF THE GREAT WAR 1914-1918
 
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Pablo Picasso, Femme à la mandoline (1908)

 
Approximately one year after his pioneering work Les Demoiselles dí Avignon (1907), Picasso gives us here a Cubist version of an iconographically older motif which can be traced back to the paintings of the Baroque age: a human being playing a musical instrument. But unlike those vivid individuals literally and figuratively in harmony with their world, as portrayed in numerous paintings by Hals etc., Picasso's female figure is a representative of modern times, irredeemably out of tune. Consisting of an assortment of geometrical forms, deprived of any facial expression, she resembles an automaton clutching a useless mandolin without strings or tuning pegs. Thus, she has become one of the early icons of modern absurdity. 

 

 
    
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