Definition and Paul Canne
For many scholars, The Demoiselles d'Avignon-with its fragmented planes, flattened figures, and borrowings from African masks-marks the beginning of the new visual language, known as cubism. Other scholars believe that French painter Paul Canne provided the primary catalyst for this change in style. Canne's work of the 1890s and early 1900s was noted both for its simplification and flattening of form and for the introduction of what art historians call passage, the interpenetration of one physical object by another. For example, in Mont Sainte-Victoire (1902-1906, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City), Canne left the outer edge of the mountain open, allowing the blue area of the sky and the gray area of the mountain to merge.