Yvonne and Magdeleine Torn in Tatters
Marcel Duchamp, American (born France), 1887 - 1968
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Duchamp created this composition from the floating forms of his younger sisters' profiles, paying close attention to their distinctive Roman noses and their long curly hair, which he rendered like cascading bunches of grapes. The disjunctions in scale between the four profiles, two for each sister, as well as the careful distribution of their forms over the entire canvas recall the torn or cut up pieces of paper that Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque used in their Cubist collages, as Duchamp humorously alludes to in the title, which suggests that his sisters have been similarly "torn in tatters."