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Les oiseaux morts (Dead Birds)

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  • Date: 
    1912 (Sorgues, France. Summer)
  • Technique: 
    Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions: 
    46 x 65 cm
  • Category: 
    Painting
  • Entry date: 
    1993
  • Register number: 
    DE00123
  • Douglas Cooper Bequest, 1985
  • On display in:
Les oiseaux morts (Dead Birds) exemplifies the constants in Pablo Picasso’s Cubism, which creates a new pictorial space in which the object is defined from a number of viewpoints and is reduced to its most basic geometric forms. The painting shows particularly clearly the final point of the process by which not only Picasso but all the other followers of the Cubist aesthetic had left the rigid structures of traditional perspective behind, with its fixed viewpoint, the vision of a single eye.
Les oiseaux morts recreates a favourite theme – not only of Picasso, but also of the majority of Cubist painters – during the middle years of the movement: still life, in its various forms, to which were added elements such as guitars, pipes, playing cards, glasses, plates and fruit bowls. However, as can be seen in Les oiseaux morts, his works at the stage do not attempt to imitate reality, but, in keeping with the new methods of plastic expression, offer a different view of things, and establish a pictorial space using a monochrome and generally muted colour scheme.

Paloma Esteban Leal

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