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.
《Saltimbanque Seated with Arms Crossed》
1923 Oil on canvas
©2023 - Succession Pablo Picasso- BCF (JAPAN)
The subject is a saltimbanque, a French term derived from the Italian saltimbanco, from saltare in banko (someone who leaps atop a bench). A saltimbanque is a performer who moves from one fair to the next to present an improvisational show.
The powerful black lines, refined yet striking color contrasts, skillfully designed, stable composition, and the saltimbanque’s unsullied expression all suggest a formative beauty shared with classical Roman sculpture. Picasso does not appear to have painted this out of pity for a marginalized performer. Rather, the saltimbanque is imbued with the dignified gallantry of a hero leading a new age. That effect is overlaid with the artist’s intention of surpassing traditional art with new techniques, the sophisticated results of his experimentation.
This painting was formerly in the collection of Vladimir Horowitz, who was known as an art collector as well as a leading twentieth-century pianist. He decorated the living room of his home with it.
Other worksSee more
《Head of a Woman》
1923 Oil and sand on canvas
©2019 - Succession Pablo Picasso- BCF (JAPAN)