Babies prefer to look at Picasso paintings, whether they’ve been exposed to Picasso or Monet, University of Zurich researchers have found.
(Trix) Cacchione’s team looked at a whole range of factors: Picasso’s use of vivid colours, sharp contours, and his use of squares and other figurative elements (Monet pictures, by contrast, are more subtle and realistic). But each time the researchers removed one of these elements, for example by using black and white pictures of the paintings, the babies still preferred Picasso.
The most likely explanation then is that it’s something about these elements in combination that appeals to babies.
Or it could be luminance or “perceived lightness.” Babies may find it easier to see Picasso’s paintings because they’re more luminant than Monet’s.