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The Dove of Picasso Series by Ninon

Dove of Picasso is a modern triptych inspired by Picasso’s famous ‘Dove of Peace.’ The main subject of this series is to explore humanity as the new symbol of peace and its message of hope and humility inspired by various mythologies.

The Story behind the famous bird

Guernica at The Reina Sofía Modern Art Museum in Madrid

In 1937, Pablo Picasso painted the most iconic painting of his lifetime: Guernica. This expressive work is certainly the artist’s most powerful political statement, painted as an immediate reaction to the Nazi’s devastating bombing on the Basque town of Guernica during the Spanish Civil War. The painting is an accurate depiction of a cruel situation, and was created to be part of the Spanish Pavilion at the International Exposition in Paris the same year of its creation.

The artwork itself is emotionally intense and was largely hailed as a proponent of anti-war and anti-fascism sentiment. To this day, I still remember the first time Mr. Saiz Da Cruz showed me the artwork in Spanish class at the age of 16. I could hear the cries and feel the fear as I was witnessing the despair in a grey cameo.

After the end of World War II, Picasso was invited to create an image representing peace. He modeled his very first “Dove of Peace” after a naturalistic drawing of a pigeon given to him by Henri Matisse and would later evolve that design into the simple line drawing that is more recognizable today. This “Dove of Peace” would be chosen to represent the first International Peace Conference in Paris in 1949. 

A cross-cultural symbol in everyday life

Dove Of Peace, 1949 by Pablo Picasso

The dove has been a symbol of peace and innocence for thousands of years in many different cultures. In ancient Greek mythology it was a symbol of love and the renewal of life, and in ancient Japan a dove carrying a sword symbolized the end of war. Early Christians portrayed baptism accompanied by a dove on their sepulchres, and in the Bible Noah sent out a dove which returned with an olive leaf to show that the Biblical flood was over and that life had returned to Earth. Ever since, in the Christian faith, the dove has symbolised deliverance and God’s forgiveness.

The white dove as a symbol in art is still associated with peace, something that many people do not realize stems from Picasso himself. His choice of a dove, a beautiful yet unassuming bird, to represent something as hopeful and momentous as world peace was a thoughtful one as the animal brings to mind ideas of freedom and endless possibility.

A creation process in tribute to freedom and peace

Inspiration is probably the most exciting moment in the process of creating art. I love the moment when inspiration strikes! It hit me that day in April as I was self-reflecting on the belligerent nature of humanity. Throughout human history there have been dominant military powers and dominant economic powers. We are facing a huge and rising demand for land, water, natural resources of all kinds, jobs and opportunity, political and economic power. As the gap between rich and poor nations widens, and as the technology of killing advances and spreads, it is unrealistic to imagine the complete absence of conflict. I asked Google: How many wars are going on right now in 2021? Wikipedia lists around 40 ongoing wars and conflicts with over 100 combat deaths in 2020 or 2021, but in reality the number is likely much higher.

In the process of letting my mind digress I came across “A Human Approach to World Peace” written by the Dalai Lama. His conclusion that solving human problems through transforming attitudes became clear to me: we as humans are the continuous cause of the problem we are trying to cure! With this in mind I decided it was time to take responsibility, and inspired by the great artists, thinkers and in particular The Dove Of Peace…I started to draw.

A Conscious Triptych

L'homme Colombe in Line Art collection is part of a modern triptych inspired by Picasso's famous 'Dove of Peace'.
L’homme Colombe by Ninon Richir Yurkewich

L’homme Colombe was my first artwork, representing a human-dove hybrid as a personification to World Peace. Here, humanity has become the new symbol of peace as we have learned lessons from the past incarnated by the dove and the olive branch. It’s a message of hope and humility inspired by various mythologies.

Parlez-vous la Paix? is part of a modern triptych inspired by Picasso's famous 'Dove of Peace'. ⁠The main subject of this series is to explore the relatedness and cognitive abilities in between men and birds.
Parlez-vous la paix? by Ninon Richir Yurkewich

Parlez-vous la paix explores the duality between the avian humanoid as personification of world peace, and humankind emphasizing the common thread of the olive branch.

Dove of Picasso in Line Art collection is part of a modern triptych inspired by Picasso's famous 'Dove of Peace'.
Dove Of Picasso by Ninon Richir Yurkewich

Dove of Picasso is a tribute artwork linking Picasso’s heritage and Matisse’s Dove to my conceptual composition a modern symbol of peace.

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