In the first decades of the 20th century, Pablo Picasso together with Georges Braques, developed cubism, which was highly influential in Western visual art. Standing Nude shows a phase in the development, in which the forms are increasingly simplified and the natural perspective disappears.
Idols and masks
This gouache dates from 1907-1908. During this period, Picasso was strongly influenced by the idols and masks from Africa and Oceania. The makers of these ‘primitive’ sculptures were not interested in the faithful depiction of reality. By means of stylization, reduction or exaggeration of the forms, they express a world in which reproduction, vitality and ancestor veneration play a leading role.
In this gouache too, all the attention is focused on the stylized forms of the figure, which are deliberately removed from reality. The head has the features of an African mask. The colours are limited to brown and grey tints, with occasional white accents for the parts that catch the light.