The First Modern Art PaintingEven though art historians usually tag CÚzanne as the "Father of Modern Art", they also seem to have reached a consensus that the first Modern Art painting was not by CÚzanne, but Picasso, namely his Les Demoiselles d'Avignon dating from 1907. At 7' 8" x 8', it is monumental in size as well as importance.
As the painting evolved in Picasso's mind and then on canvas, the artist seems to have been somewhat stunned by his own audacity in breaking new ground with every stroke of the brush. After it was finished Picasso showed it to only a few of his closest friends who were likewise awed and dismayed by its visual impact and power. The story persists that he kept it under his bed for a period of some nine years before displaying it publicly. Given its immense size, it must have been a big bed.
Contributed by Lane, Jim
17 October 1997