Page 6 - summer 22
P. 6

Tolstoy, the greatest writer of the Realist movement died in 1910. By then, in 1907,

            Picasso had painted Les Demoiselles D’Avignon, the first great Modernist work of art.





























































            In this landmark painting, Picasso sought neither escapism nor realism, but
            engagement with the modern world, in all its subjective intensity. This required an
            unprecedented degree of artistic freedom. Hence the bonfire of the conventions. It
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            essentially took just ten years, 1906 to 1916. Thus the 20  century began with one of
            the greatest cultural revolutions in human history. It has taken mainstream historians
            a while to appreciate this. Part of the problem is that Modernism is notoriously
            difficult to define. Many fall back on Ezra Pound’s advice to poets to “Make it new,”

            or the challenge of ballet impresario Sergei Diaghilev to his choreographers,
            “Astonish me!”
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