Picasso painted very diverse portraits, especially of the people close to him

Picasso the portrait painter in all his splendour

More than 80 paintings in an exhibition that can be seen until the end of June.

Portraits were one of the favourite genres of Pablo Ruiz Picasso. He painted them in a variety of styles, using diverse techniques. But there are a number of common themes running through his work: he painted the people around him rather than famous public personages. Examples of this are his portraits of people in his circle such as Dora Maar, Jaume Sabartés, Françoise Guillot, Erik Satie and Olga Khokhlova. Free of commissions, he also tended to paint with complete freedom. This new exhibition at Barelona’s Picasso Museum, which is titled Picasso. Portraits, includes more than 80 works. It is curated by Elizabeth Cowling, with the collaboration of the Picasso Museum and London’s National Portrait Gallery.

As the organisers state, “Picasso had an early gift for suggesting a subject’s character in a humorous way, while at the same time faithfully representing those he portrayed. While always original, Picasso was in constant dialogue with the art of the past, using formats and postures with subtle allusions to the work of the great masters. These references are reflected in his personal vision of physical types, the personality in question or the relationship he himself had with those portrayed”. And, as Cowling points out, these portraits distanced themselves from realism and photography to reflect a more subjective viewpoint.

This is, therefore, an excellent opportunity to see portraits by Picasso that are not usually on display at the museum and to savour, once again, his talent and versatility. The exhibition runs until 25 June.

Additional information is available from the Museum website.

 

Publication date: Thursday, 16 March 2017
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