Francis Picabia, The Procession, Seville, 1912 From the National Gallery of Art: Before establishing himself as a pioneering member of the dada movement during and after World War I, Picabia experimented with various forms of modernist painting. Procession, Seville belongs to a group of works from 1912 in which the artist demonstrates a sophisticated and highly idiosyncratic assimilation of recent developments in cubism and futurism.1 Fragmented planes, shallow space, and an allover pattern of flickering lights and darks are all associated with the analytic cubism of Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque; the quasi-abstract evocation of bodies in motion is an interest Picabia shared with Italian futurist painters such as Gino Severini and Umberto Boccioni, who were just beginning to exhibit in Paris. The paintings in this series, which includes several large-scale works, were produced between June and September. All of the pictures have descriptive titles that are often boldly inscribed on the painting itself; many of these, including Procession, Seville, relate to scenes of peasant and religious life that Picabia had witnessed on his honeymoon in Spain in 1909. Procession, Seville purports to represent a hillside religious procession, with nuns in black habits and white headgear. Figures coalesce into a mass in the center of the canvas, making their way up the rugged terrain, with blue sky showing in the upper-left and upper-right corners of the composition. The restricted palette, dominated by blacks, whites, and grays, derives in principle from analytic cubism, but the acidic passages of blue and orange (presumably the nuns’ faces) are peculiar to Picabia’s work. Picabia’s paintings from 1912 were often produced in formal and thematic sequences or groups, including several canvases devoted to images of the dance.