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Picasso and Braque first began to make collages, or papiers collés, in 1912. The use of cut papers, and in particular clippings from newspapers, seemed a natural extension of their earlier experiments with stencilled lettering. Whereas their earlier Cubist works had involved deconstructing objects into their component parts and planes, works like this one sought to construct a unified composition from abstracted fragments of the objects depicted. The newspaper in this work may have been chosen for its faded colour, since it was already nearly thirty years old when Picasso used it.

August 2004