The static representation of movement in Duchamp’s controversial painting

Nude Descending a Staircase №2 by Marcel Duchamp, 1912, via Wikipedia

In the early 20th century, Marcel Duchamp’s “Nude Descending a Staircase №2” provoked outrage, criticism, and ridicule. The cubists did not want to be associated with Duchamp’s painting, since they thought that his artwork would resemble the dynamic style of the futurists. Duchamp, though, said that he did not try to display rapid movement — like the motion in a movie or futurist artwork — in his painting. Influenced by chronophotography, he rather intended to show “a static representation of movement”.

Duchamp originally wanted to exhibit his painting at the Salon des Indépendants in the year 1912 in Paris, but…


How these bizarre sculptures give insight into the agitated mind of the artist

Character Heads from the 18th century by Franz Xaver Messerschmidt — Source: Wikimedia Commons

The highly expressive features of Messerschmidt’s “Character Heads” were quite unusual for its time. Since their creation in the second half of the 18th century, they have been the topic of wild speculations. Stories circulated about the artist’s alleged insanity, his eccentric behaviour and how he would jump in front of unsuspecting pedestrians, while being armed with a gun, to study the expression of their frightened faces. …

Stefanie Graf

Art history student and freelance writer from Vienna. Interested in and writing about interpretations of artworks and what we can learn from them.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store