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art history


             "Nature Morte- La Cafatiere" (1944) and "Violin et Compotier" (1910) are unique still lifes done by Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque, pioneers of the cubism style. The subject of "Nature Morte- La Cafatiere" (1944) is a coffee pot and a cup. Rather than using rounded edges, Picasso creates a sharp, boxy coffee pot with various geometric shapes. The cup, in contrast, uses rounded shapes. The line in "Nature Morte- La Cafatiere" (1944) is strong. There is a dark black outline, which brings out both the objects against the background. The color is not meant to be realistic, but expressive. Though white is a simple color, the contrast of white and grays keep it from looking like it is real. The pot and cup both have white and black hues. There are spots on the coffee pot where the intensity of the white is great and it looks solid. One portion of the pot is deep black. There is no distinct attention to light in the picture except that the saturation of red and black at certain points in the background create somewhat of a shadow. There are no sharp contrasts or illuminations except the brightness of the cup and front of the coffee pot. The composition of this work is not necessarily orderly. There are a lot of diagonal lines, and one on the front of the coffee pot that directs the eye to the cup. Though there is not apparent balance, the objects are centered and placed on a base. Picasso composes this still life using opposing elements where the coffee pot is masculine and the cup is feminine. The coffee pot is two dimensional, while the cup is one-dimensional. In cubism this is accepted because rather than showing the object how it would really be seen, it can be seen from different perspectives at once. The space is used mainly for the subject, but some is used to fill in with the red background. There is a foreground and a background and the coffee pot and cup are represented on several different planes creating the unnatural shape.


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