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COLLECTION HIGHLIGHTS

Pablo PICASSO

Málaga, Spain, 1881–Mougins, France, 1973

When Picasso was fourteen, his family moved to Barcelona. He had already displayed extraordinary artistic talent. His first visit to Paris was in 1900. After his “Blue Period” and “Circus Period,” he was strongly influenced by the works and theories of Cézanne while in the midst of creating his Les Demoiselles d'Avignon (1907) and, together with Braque, began the explorations that led to Cubism. During World War I, he painted realistic portraits. Then, in 1920, he produced a monumental classical nude and began his “Neoclassical Period”. Starting around 1925, he was influenced by Surrealism, but found the Surrealists’ realistic reproduction of dreams and unconscious materials uncongenial. In 1936 the war in Spain broke out, and in 1937 he produced Guernica, depicting the bombing of the city by Franco and the Fascist forces. He remained in Paris during World War II, but after the war’s end, he established households in Antibes and Vallauris in the south of France, then later moved to Cannes. There he lived until his death, with his art constantly developing in new ways. He represented, in all respects, the quintessence of twentieth-century art.
Pablo PICASSO Saltimbanque Seated with Arms Crossed 1923, Oil on canvas
Pablo PICASSO
Saltimbanque Seated with Arms Crossed
1923, Oil on canvas
© 2017 - Succession Pablo Picasso-SPDA(JAPAN)

This painting is one that exemplifies Picasso's "Neoclassical period". Saltimbanques were the lowest order of entertainers; fairground performers, they moved from one fair to the next instead having a settled residence and place to perform. The term is also used to refer to professional acrobats and other performers who have failed in their calling. This depiction of a saltimbanque, rather than being born of Picasso's empathy for those on the periphery of society, may be a portrait of the artist himself. The face, with its air of Greek sculpture, indicates that possibility. On the left side of the painting, lines that suggest a human face are visible; scientific examination has revealed that a woman's form, nestling close to the saltimbanque, has also been painted over. One of the collectors who owned this work was the pianist Vladimir Horowitz.
From Post-Impressionism to 20th century art