Becoming Picasso: Paris 1901


    1901 was a momentous and turbulent year for the nineteen-year-old Picasso. His first visit to Paris, at the end of 1900, had fuelled his ambitions and led to the prospect of an exhibition with one of the city's most important modern art dealers, Ambroise Vollard. As he prepared work for the show he received news that his closest friend, Carles Casagemas, had committed suicide - shooting himself in a Paris restaurant in front of a former lover. The tragedy would have a profound impact upon his art as the year unfolded. Picasso left for Paris in May with around 20 paintings and little over a month to produce enough work to fill his Vollard exhibition. Once there, he painted unstintingly, sometimes finishing three canvases in a single day. This great outpouring of creative energy resulted in more than 60 paintings for the exhibition. The canvases express Picasso's desire to take on and reinvent the styles and motifs of his artist heroes, such as Van Gogh, Degas and Toulouse-Lautrec. The Vollard show was a success and launched Picasso's career in Paris. But despite this he immediately took his art in new directions. The spectre of Casagemas' death inspired Picasso to produce a new group of subjects. They constitute one of his greatest early achievements and with them he found his own artistic voice. The paintings are typically muted in tone with strong outlines and anticipate his famous 'blue period' of the following years. They often depict isolated figures in sparse surroundings, such as Child with a Dove, and include an extraordinary series of drinkers at cafe tables, such as Harlequin Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Harlequin and Companion Pushkin Museum, Moscow and Absinthe Drinker Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg. The works strongly express Picasso's preoccupation with themes of innocence and experience, purity and corruption, and life and death. This all comes together in his valediction to his dead friend, the large-

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    Number of Pages: 160
    Format(s): Paperback - ISBN: 9781907372452
    Publication Date:
    Listed in: c 1900 to c 1960, Painting & paintings, Individual artists, art monographs
    Publisher: Paul Holberton Publishing

    Books by Barnaby Wright


    RRP: £30.00

    Sale Price: £20.46

    Save: £9.54 per copy!

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