Pablo Picasso. Les Demoiselles d’Avignon. 1907. Oil on canvas, 8' × 7' 8" (243.9 × 233.7 cm). Acquired through the Lillie P. Bliss Bequest (by exchange). © 2019 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
  • MoMA, Floor 5, 503 The Alfred H. Barr, Jr. Galleries

Painted when Pablo Picasso was 25 years old, the monumental canvas Les Demoiselles d’Avignon seems to have had no lesser goal than the complete reinvention of Western painting. In a composition that appears to be working itself out before our eyes, Picasso jettisoned idealized notions of beauty, banished conventions of perspective, and introduced forms inspired by African and Iberian art. The title, which alludes to the prostitutes of Barcelona’s red-light district, fuels the painting’s continued ability to shock.

Demoiselles has been traditionally presented as the beginning of Cubism—the art of splintered forms and shifting vantage points that revolutionized pictorial language in the years prior to World War I. But this work may also be understood in other ways and other contexts. Here, a sculpture by Louise Bourgeois and a painting by Faith Ringgold, both made decades later, enter into dialogue with Picasso’s psychologically charged scene, intensifying the questions that Demoiselles raises about representations of women, power, and cultural difference.

15 works online


Installation images

How we identified these works

In 2018–19, MoMA collaborated with Google Arts & Culture Lab on a project using machine learning to identify artworks in installation photos. That project has concluded, and works are now being identified by MoMA staff.

If you notice an error, please contact us at [email protected].


If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA’s collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

All requests to license audio or video footage produced by MoMA should be addressed to Scala Archives at [email protected]. Motion picture film stills or motion picture footage from films in MoMA’s Film Collection cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For licensing motion picture film footage it is advised to apply directly to the copyright holders. For access to motion picture film stills please contact the Film Study Center. More information is also available about the film collection and the Circulating Film and Video Library.

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication, please email [email protected]. If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to [email protected].


This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to [email protected].