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Picasso and the Masters Opens at the Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais in Paris
Pablo Picasso, Nature morte au crâne de mouton Royan, 6 octobre 1939. Oil on canvas, 50.2 x 61 cm. Collection Vicky et Marcos Micha, Mexico © Succession Picasso, 2008.



PARIS.- Pablo Picasso was trained in the strict rules of academic painting at a very early age, first by his father, José Ruiz-Blasco, a teacher at the fine art school in Málaga and director of the Malaga Museum, and then as a student (1893-1899) at the fine arts school of La Corùna, at La Lonja (Barcelona), and then at the San Fernando Academy (Madrid). Drawings from the antique, statuary and architectonics, copies of paintings by the great Spanish masters and the study of the history of European art formed the core of this training, rooted in the humanist pictorial tradition which reminds us that Picasso was born in the 19th century (1881). Academic drawings, history paintings, genre scenes, epic or religious compositions, sombre effects, large, pretentious canvases, competitions, official painting and art galleries were the daily labour, the references and prospects of his formative years.

The oppression felt by the virtuoso youth, who never drew as a child does but was immediately confronted with Michelangelo and Raphael, long nourished a subversive urge which drove him into the most radical formal innovations, Cubism, and to the foundation of modern art.

Simultaneously a brilliant academic artist (he won a medal at 19) and a rabid destroyer of established forms, Picasso kept up an ongoing dialogue with the grand tradition in painting. His posture was not – as it was in many artists of his generation – merely a reflection of a period in the throes of change, but the driving force shaping his pictorial ambitions. It operated from his first major composition on an allegorical subject, Science and Charity (1896), until the last canvases after Velazquez, Titian and Rembrandt, in which an obsessive self-portrait lurked beneath the masks of musketeers, musicians and matadors. The period of “variations” on Delacroix, Velazquez or Manet (1950-1962) forms the best-known and most explicit episode in this process of critical revisiting which runs throughout his work.

Bringing together 210 works from the most prestigious public and private, French and international collections, Picasso and the Masters at the Galeries nationales du Grand Palais takes stock of this process.

Confronting past and present, going beyond changes in style and formal innovations, the exhibition presents, in a cross between thematic and chronological approaches, guided by Picasso’s painting alone: El Greco, Vélasquez, Goya, Zurbaran, Ribera, Melendez, Poussin, Le Nain, Dubois, Chardin, David, Ingres, Delacroix, Manet, Courbet, Lautrec, Degas, Puvis de Chavannes, Cézanne, Renoir, Gauguin, Douanier Rousseau, Titien, Cranach, Rembrandt, Van Gogh. Spanish, French, Italian, or German, these artists are the multifaceted framework of a narrow motif in which painting learns from painting.

Unprecedented pictorial cannibalism is at work in Picasso’s approach. He made painting of painting into a system. Breaking away from the academic procedures of the transmission and reproduction of tradition – copy, paraphrase, quotation – this new method put painting at the very heart of knowledge of the world. Transposition, mimicry, deviation, distortion are some of the figures in the strategy used by Picasso in the treatment of his favourite painters. He thus fertilised the modus operandi of modern and contemporary creation, sometimes also pulling it towards perverse duplication, irony and pastiche.



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October 7, 2008

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1914! The Avant-garde and the Great War Opens at the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum in Madrid

Dynamic Exhibition of Modern British Prints on View at Metropolitan Museum

Christie's Fall Sale of 19th Century European and and Orientalist Art Offers Discoveries of the Exquisite

Tampa Museum of Art Hires Todd D. Smith as Executive Director

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Magnificent Medals from Brandenburg-Prussia on View at Kunsthistorisches Museum

Sotheby's Announces Plans to Open an Office in Qatar

Willard Wigan MBE Exhibition is Extended at Hard Days Night Hotel Gallery

Journals of the Days: Jacobshagen Notebooks Tour Nebraska's Arboreta

New Woodrow Wilson Presidential Memorial Exhibit Open to the Public

BRC Imagination Arts' Bob Rogers to Receive The Order of Lincoln, Illinois' Highest Honor

October 6, 2008

Scuderie del Quirinale in Rome Opens Major Monographic Exhibition on Giovanni Bellini

Hazlitt Holland-Hibbert to Show Early Works from 1939-1954 by Lucian Freud

MoMA's International Festival of Film Preservation Showcases Newly Restored Masterworks

Baltimore Museum of Art Presents Rarely Shown British Landscapes

The Art of Italy in the Royal Collection: The Baroque to Open in November

Sotheby's Print Auction on October 30 and 31 to include Edvard Munch's Iconic Work The Scream

Ten Drawings by Leonardo da Vinci from the Royal Collection on View Next Year in Manchester

Contemporary Art Biennial Opens in Seville Including Works by Nam June Paik and Bill Viola

Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam Opens Audrey Corregan: Obviously

Kalamazoo Institute of Arts Welcomes Spared from the Storm

Classic 1930s Street Photographs of New York City on View at Metropolitan Museum

British Artist Charlotte Mann Creates Stunning Mural for The School of Life

Beside the Seaside: Snapshots of British Coastal Life, 1880-1950 on View at the National Maritime Museum

Weighing and Wanting: Selections From the Collections Opened at Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego

October 5, 2008

Impressionist Masterwork by Edgar Degas to be Sold By Sotheby's in November in New York

Rich Legacy of African Textiles on View in Metropolitan Museum Exhibition

Tradition in Transition: Russian Icons in the Age of the Romanovs Opens at Memorial Art Gallery

Sotheby's New York Sale of 19th Century European Art to be Held on October 23

Allan Ramsay Self-Portrait Leads Christie's Auction of Scottish Art in October 2008

Pieter Hugo: The Hyena & Other Men at Fotografiemuseum in Amsterdam

One-of-a-Kind Salvador Dali Dedicatory Drawings Collection

Extraordinary Diverse Work of Ana Maria Pacheco to be Shown at The Herbert in Coventry

Sculptor Jesús Moroles to Create Reflecting Pool Installation for Joslyn Art Museum

DAR Museum Showcases Antique Toy Collection in New Exhibition

Exhibition Featuring Work of Leonardo da Vinci to Open at High Museum in October 2009

Avant-Garde China: Twenty Years of Chinese Contemporary Art on View at National Art Center

Raident Technology, Inc. Establishes Scholarships at Academy of Art University San Francisco

National Museum of the American Indian Presents Major Retrospective of Fritz Scholder's Art

Unique Temporary Printing Machine Highlights Ephemeral Nature of Digital Data

Christie's New York Announces European Decorative Arts Month

AT & T Donates $500,000 in Artwork to Community organizations in California

October 4, 2008

Statuephilia Opens Today at The British Museum; Kate Moss in Gold By Marc Quinn Unveiled

Mint Museum of Art Presents Major Andy Warhol Exhibition

Sotheby's To Auction One of the Greatest Modern Paintings Ever Offered for Sale

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Darwin's Garden: An Evolutionary Adventure Opens at The Huntington Library

The Fluidity of Glass - Etsuko Ichikawa: Traces of the Molten State

Christie's Spanish Art Sale in Madrid Totals $7.7 Million

Hong Kong International Arts and Antiques Fair Opens

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Moderna Museet Presents Time & Place: Los Angeles 1957-1968

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Art.Fair 21 Opens in Cologne

New Bamboo: Contemporary Japanese Masters Opens at Japan Society

Act/React: Interactive Installation Art Makes its World Premiere at the Milwaukee Art Museum

October 3, 2008

All the Histories of Art: Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna Exhibit at Guggenheim in Bilbao

Nude Portait of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin Unveiled in Chicago

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Treasures from the Garden of Eden: Masterpieces of Ancient Jewelry Opens

Hannah Wilke: Gestures Opens at The Neuberger Museum of Art

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Canada's Only Major Modern and Contemporary International Art Fair Returns to Toronto

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October 2, 2008

Joseph Beuys: We are the Revolution Gives Shape to Artist's Large Expanse of Ideas

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The New York Transit Museum Presents a Screening and Discussion

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Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- 'World's oldest message in a bottle', tossed in sea 101 years ago, reaches granddaughter

2.- East-West/West-East: Qatar unveils desert sculpture by American artist Richard Serra

3.- Ming-era 'chicken cup' sells for $36.05 million breaking record for Chinese porcelain

4.- United States pastor Kevin Sutherland convicted over Damien Hirst fake paintings

5.- Major exhibition at Pinacothèque de Paris explores the myth of Cleopatra

6.- Fondation Vincent van Gogh Arles opens with inaugural exhibition "Van Gogh Live!"

7.- Landmark exhibition opens in New York exploring the ancient kingdoms of Southeast Asia

8.- Palm-sized scroll that mentions Jesus's wife is ancient: Harvard Theological Review

9.- Hitler's wife Eva Braun may have had Jewish ancestry: British television documentary

10.- Bonhams to sell Madame de Pompadour's favourite porcelain which surfaced in Devon after 350 years

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