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Picasso. Retrats

  • Art
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Recommended

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

I don't know whether to tell you that the face is the window to the soul or its mask, but I still don't know a single painter who has done a portrait of anyone showing only the subject's feet. And if that painter did exist, he'd deserve to be called Picasso.

You can see for yourself at the exhibition 'Picasso. Portraits' in the Picasso Museum, via 81 works in oil, charcoal, engravings and sculptures the artist created over 76 years. From the first portraits of his father and aunt in 1896 to those of his children, partners and friends, as well as the group of artists who hung out at Els 4 Gats – Joaquim Mir, Rusiñol, Ramon Pichot; French critics and poets such as Gustave Coquiot, Guillaume Apollinaire and Max Jacob; gallery owners Kahnweiler and Ambroise Vollard; musical geniuses such as Igor Stravinsky and Francis Poulenc; and a repeat subject, his good friend, secretary and factotum of the Picasso Museum in Barcelona, Jaume Sabartés.

At a certain point in time, Picasso did self-portraits, like Velázquez, El Greco and Rembrandt. He knew that faces do existential choreographies. They are children of circumstances, performing a role in the comedy of life, beyond the border between caricature and objective fidelity. You can see it in his portraits of women: his first wife, Olga Khokhlova – from classic serene beauty at the start of their relationship to empty and bitter at the end; long-term partners such as Françoise Gilot and Jacqueline Roque, and young lovers Marie-Thérèse Walter and Dora Maar. Through these works, Picasso also became part of his subjects as well.


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