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This section includes works of art that embody the origins of the Modernist movement. Its authors belong to one or two generations before Picasso. There are no Impressionists, but rather painters - Degas, Gauguin, Seurat, Vuillard –who wanted to disassociate themselves from a Movement that is remarkable, here, precisely for its absence, a significant absence. In effect, Picasso was from a generation who rejected Impressionism and its late phase, and which shared Apollinaire’s affirmation made in 1908: «Now is the time for a nobler kind of art, more measured, better ordered, more cultivated».

It was around 1888 when Gauguin predicted synthesis (smooth and pure colours with firm outlines), a procedure rediscovered by the Nabis (Vuillard, The Cradlesong: Marie Roussel in bed). Seurat, as with the neo-Impressionists, also shared this desire for order. In 1913, Apollinaire elaborated a technique that «gave order to the new Impressionist works»

Apollinaire, Guillaume, Els Pintors cubistes, meditacions estètiques. Barcelona, Quaderns Crema 2000

Picasso admired Van Gogh, that emblematic figure of genius, who passionately transposed reality away from the serene visions of the Impressionists. Van Gogh is not here, but he is substituted, in his own style, by Van Dongen’s The Vineyard, with its expressionist tone. Not to mention the great Degas, whose virtuous drawing was based on expressive deformations. His robust creatures offer a crude counterpoint to the aristocratic world of the racecourses.

In summary, all of them reject pictorial illusion in favour of an «organized subjective vision» as preconceived by Picasso 

Bernadac, Marie-Laure, Michael, Androula, Picasso, propos sur l’art, Paris, Gallimard, 1998



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