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Pablo Picasso 
The Line and the World


The young Picasso began his artistic education in a conventional manner by taking drawing lessons from his father, the painter Don José Ruiz y Blasco. This academic training involved a close study of plaster casts copied from antiquity. Emphasizing the human figure while observing the rules of modelling. Picasso learned to faithfully render form through shading and linear definition. And so this myth of the precocious artist, whose father had taught him everything he knew by the age of fourteen, was born. Aside from the merits of this legend, drawing would become an essential aspect of Picasso’s production. From his early fin-de-siècle Symbolist pastels to his Cubist pen-and-ink compositions, from academic portraits to late compositions inspired by the great masters, Picasso remained committed to a medium that allowed for experimentation and proved an invaluable resource in his daily practice.

Although academic draftsmanship laid the foundation for Picasso’s craft, his practice would soon outgrow conventional definitions of a medium characterized by fluidity, immediacy, and a sense of ease. Traditionally, draftsmanship was conceived as a convenient way of carrying out a variety of tasks, such as notes to oneself, preparatory drawings for larger compositions, modelli conceived as studies of constructions for the stage, studies of anatomy, quick impressions, or intimate sketches. Picasso used all of these ways of drawing quite prolifically; yet at the same time, he was engaged in dismantling the separation between artistic modes of expression, of which drawing was considered the foundation.

Picasso’s Cubist experiments broke down this separation by emphasizing construction and assemblage. Cubism made it possible for papiers collés, constructions, sculpture, painting, and drawing to be manipulated in a variety of ways; thus, drawing could hint at sculpture, just as sculpture could be imbued with painterly or linear qualities. For Picasso, draftsmanship was not so much a separate “academic” discipline, but a tool for exploring ideas that migrate from one medium to another, over the course of several decades. It could give works on paper the weight and texture of painting, or the multiplicity of sculpture. As examples of this fluidity of medium, Buste de femme (Fernande Olivier) [Bust of a Woman (Fernande Olivier)], 1909 [PLATE 17], or Femme nue debout [Standing Female Nude], 1909–10 [PLATE 18], are more than “sculptures” drawn on a two-dimensional surface. This is because their tonal and linear projections in space articulate a shift in perspective that becomes more visible as our gaze sways to and from the object. Conversely, many of Picasso’s sculptures, the bent metal works in particular, such as his series of maquettes for a proposed monument to Gustave Apollinaire (see Figure (Maquette pour un monument à Apollinaire, [Figure (Project for a Monument to Apollinaire)], 1928 [FIG. 1]) carry the weight and lightness of drawings in space. At times, these techniques are combined in the sheet metal sculptures painted with thin lines, as in the series of portraits of Sylvette David from 1954.

Large Image - Figure 1

[FIG. 1]

Figure (Maquette pour un monument à Apolinaire)

[Figure (Project for a Monument to Apollinaire)]

Paris, Autumn 1928

Iron, sheet metal

10 1/4 × 4 7/8  × 4 3/8 inches (26 × 12.5 × 11.1 cm)

Musée national Picasso, Paris

Photo: Adrien Didierjean. Image © RMN-Grand Palais /

Art Resource, NY.

First and foremost, drawing functions as a seismograph of Picasso’s relation to the world. Pen and paper are the main tools that define the artist’s relation to his environment. Over the next few paragraphs, I would like to focus on drawing as a way of distilling the artist’s fluid, changing relationship with the world. As suggested by T.J. Clark, Picasso’s own voice came by paying “comprehensive attention to the form of the world in the eye.” His truth was “proximity,” the “touchable, usable, possessable, playable.”1 To draw is to be taken almost literally in Picasso’s case: to pull, to draw, to extract that which matters to the artist; to establish a personal, intimate relationship with the world around him; to create a sense of space that was an extension of his own, at times quasi solipsistic universe.2

Once we understand his main purpose was to establish a relationship with the environment, then style becomes secondary to Picasso’s inclination to subjugate the world at hand, a world that can be sensed, touched, and turned into one’s own territory. What mattered most, perhaps, was a desire to make this world his own, while still retaining a range of approaches that were reflective of the subject matter, moods and demands, as well as other contingencies. In order to pursue these heterogeneous demands, whether stage sets for the ballet, still lifes destined to be sold by his dealers, portraits of those around him, sketches that were part of his mental universe, or ambitious compositions on the grand scale of Les demoiselles d’Avignon or Guernica, Picasso appears to be juggling various artistic styles and modes of expression quite effortlessly. Yve-Alain Bois has referred to Picasso as a “trickster,” a juggler of different styles, who alternated, among others, between Classicism, parody and pastiche, Cubism, and biomorphic Surrealism.



It is well known that Picasso was fond of depicting himself in the form of a harlequin; we know of his fascination with theater, particularly “low” popular forms such as vaudeville and the circus. Picasso identified with this bohemian crowd of jugglers and musicians. He was disguised as a harlequin as early as 1905 in Au Lapin Agile [At the Lapin Agile] [FIG. 2]. The artist can be seen as a conjurer, and the harlequin, with his multi-faceted, diamond-shaped costume, which glitters and changes according to the light acts as a metaphor for stylistic diversity. The forlorn acrobats and performers he depicted, often in meditative situations, become a metaphor for his artistic stance, as a juggler of styles and, for a renewal in dramatic action. Yet, as Rosalind Krauss observes, in this game of artistic juggling, there was only one manner with which Picasso truly identified, Cubism.

Large Image - Figure 2

[FIG. 2]

Au Lapin Agile [At the Lapin Agile]

Paris, early 1905

Oil on canvas

39 × 39 1/2 inches (99.1 × 100.3 cm)

The Metropolitan Museum of Art; The Walter H. and Leonore Annenberg Collection, Gift of Walter H. and Leonore Annenberg, 1992, Bequest of Walter H. Annenberg, 2002 (1992.391)

Image © The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Image source: Art Resource, NY.

Cubism gave Picasso the tools and a language with which to develop the artistic versatility that would become his trademark. It allowed him to experiment with techniques of assembling and rearranging all the elements within a picture or a drawing, one where different forms of artistic discourse could coexist, by being integrated within the same work. At times, discontinuity would prevail and expose how arbitrary and artificial the process had become. The aesthetics of discontinuity was achieved through various techniques of assemblage, by transplanting things from their usual place, to positions that created incongruous relationships, thereby offering metaphorical associations. It was once these dislocated symbols were reassembled that new meanings were allowed to emerge. During the Cubist period, drawings in particular were imbued with this kind of versatility since they could easily oscillate between linear perspective and pure geometry. Drawing allows for a kind of ease that makes the overall grid and articulation of a composition both visible and workable. (See for instance, Instruments de musique et compotier devant une fenêtre avec un aéroplane (Musical Instruments and Fruit Bowl in Front of a Window with an Airplane], 1915–16 [PLATE 24]).

In the wake of his Cubist experiments, particularly with papiers collés, Picasso realized that a fragmented mode of expression might be appropriate for still life subjects, while a realistic, academic approach seemed most relevant to portraiture. Perhaps Cubism was the best way to evoke traditional arrangements of fruit, vases, bottles, of so-called inanimate objects, that appear not so still anymore. Portraits, on the other hand, tend to conform to a hieratic and storied genre that was also prevalent in Spanish painting, which the artist knew from his childhood. (At times, Picasso combines these two modes, as in the half-Cubist, half realistic still lifes executed in Saint Raphael 1919.5)

During the First World War, we see works in which various motifs or subjects are executed in a variety of styles, as in the playful series of Arlequins à la batte, ranging from academic studies to schematic shorthands.6 On numerous occasions, Picasso displayed a real aversion to the notion of “style”: “Down with style,” he said. “Does God have a style? He created the guitar, the harlequin, the basset, the owl, the dove. Like me.”7 If Picasso were to be considered a painter without style, he was, nonetheless, deeply marked by years of searching for a distinct form of expression, which led to Cubism. Soon he realized that Cubism was not just a style. As soon as it risked becoming one, it was already dead (which is why Picasso quickly distanced himself from his followers).

What is the position of the artist with regard to his work? Does his creative output occupy a space that could match that of an entertainer pursuing his fantastical tricks? Furthermore, what drives this work? And to what extent does the artist control that? These are perhaps the most important questions Picasso asks by engaging in stylistic transformation. At the core of his practice is a commitment to a peculiar form of subjective realism, to making the outside world more intelligible through figurative means. Yet there’s no core method or style for absorbing this sentiment of reality, a tangible world that the artist wants to control and behold; and sometimes parody is the best way to articulate the artist’s elusive pursuit, his dilemma in facing up to the weight of reality. In his stage sets and scenery for the ballets Parade and Mercure, parody is the artist’s weapon of choice for contaminating the legacy of the art historical canon.8 What links many of these experiments is drawing’s versatility and range.

Large Image - Figure 4

[FIG. 4]

Pharamousse [Francis Picabia]

Max Goth, 1917

Illustration accompanying “Odeurs de Partout”

(“Whispers from Abroad”), published in 391, no. 1

(Barcelona, January 25, 1916): back cover.

Photo by Tim Nighswander/IMAGING4ART, courtesy the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Picasso is rarely the analytical, dispassionate observer of the world around him. (He created more analytical drawings from photographs, especially between 1918 and the early twenties. However, the evenly distributed line, seen for instance in the portrait of Igor Stravinsky, 1917 [PLATE 26], is a testament to the artist’s attention to space and light, albeit under the guise of a cool, analytical attitude.) Some drawings from the early twenties are exercises in understanding or analyzing the tonal distribution of various contiguous surfaces, using techniques other than traditional modeling to cast shadows. Yet, the artist’s relationship with these various modes of expression or “manners” is not coolly analytical, balanced, and pragmatic, in contrast with the strategy adopted by his rival Francis Picabia. If we look at Picabia’s portrait of Max Goth, 1916 [FIG. 3], which was executed in a mechanical, impersonal manner bordering on parody, we realize that Picasso’s relationship to his work is of a different kind, for he is emotionally invested in his practice, especially in the wake of his Cubist experiments.

Large Image - Plate 26 (left)

[PLATE 26]

Portrait d'Igor Stravinsky [Portrait of Igor Stravinsky]

Rome, March/early April 1917

Graphite pencil on cream wove paper

10 5/8 × 8 1/4 inches (27 × 21 cm)

Private Collection

Photo by Kent Pell.

Large Image - Figure 3 (right)

[FIG. 3]

Portrait d'Igor Stravinsky [Portrait of Igor Stravinsky]

Paris, May 24, 1920

Pencil and charcoal on paper

24 1/4 × 19 inches (61.5 × 48.2 cm)

Musée national Picasso, Paris

Photo: Béatrice Hatala. Image © RMN-Grand Palais /
Art Resource, NY.

We can observe that Picasso’s work reveals different strands, impulses, and voices, often all at once. We can bear witness to a kind of stylistic multiplicity in the artist’s fluent lines—lines that are caught between flow and break, between unity and disintegration: the stylized realism of his theater designs, the monumental manner of his large nudes, the aesthetics of fragmentation in the cut-and-paste, clashing decorative surfaces of his papiers collés. To develop this line of thought—to go beyond these various approaches, which are often connected to particular themes (such as Cubism for the still-lifes, and a more realistic manner for portraits)—we would need to take a closer look at certain impulses that are fundamental to Picasso’s art.

I’d like to show here how a medium as immediate and versatile as drawing can respond and react to the artist’s impulses and demands, as in the case of commissions, where styles, manners, and techniques shift accordingly. These can be analytical and rigorous when the artist draws inspiration from photographs, or alternatively, emotionally invested when he is portraying those who are closest to him. I would argue that Picasso uses different modes to signify empathy and connection (or lack of thereof) to what is being depicted. His stance (or gaze) varies considerably, depending on the circumstances, mood, and the subject matter. Let us survey some of these forms.



Picasso was trained by his father in the academic tradition. An early drawing such as Tête de femme [Head of a Woman], 1902 [PLATE 3], executed while the artist was staying at the Hôtel du Maroc in Paris, reveals the young Picasso’s technical mastery. The model, who remains to this day unidentified, is rendered in sepia lines that appear etched (a technique related to drawing, which Picasso pursued until the very end of his life), giving her a look of inalterability and permanence. What appears most striking is her fixed, forlorn gaze, her large, expressive eyes. In later years, Picasso would revert to drawing in the classical mode by introducing a twist, or a slightly corrupting element. During the First World War, Picasso drew a number of portraits in a manner reminiscent of Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres (including the celebrated portrait of Apollinaire from 1915). Picasso’s seemingly classical drawings never failed to reveal a corrupting element: the slight disfigurement of a face, exaggerated limbs, a sudden shift in perspective, or the careful, sensitive rendering of a face at the expense of the body. Picasso’s portraits of Stravinsky (see PLATE 26 and FIG. 4) and his friends Serge Diaghilev and Manuel de Falla also display the marks of a realistic, Ingresque manner; yet the exaggerated contours succeed in establishing an expressive autonomy in direct competition with the artist’s mimetic ambitions, the draftsman’s assured line imposing its steady mark so as to unify all compositional elements.

Linear definition becomes a way of creating space, the line traveling along and across the white sheet of paper. Picasso’s sinuous and adaptable line at times conveys hesitations (a reflection perhaps of the artist’s changing vision, or sometimes of the hand’s own impulse, divorced from any mimetic concerns), oscillating between the “curve of desire” and the stillness and permanence of form seen in classical antiquity. This mode in Picasso’s practice harks back to the type of line drawings that he developed over the years not only under his father’s tutelage, but also under the influence and impulse of Ingres as a draftsman. Referring to Picasso’s etchings, the English critic Adrian Stokes observed “something unalterable, as fixed in space, a permanence,” in their depth of feeling for the concrete world.9 He also remarked that the positions of the bodies “seem natural for eternity.”10 Yet the line is versatile; at times related to etching, and the frieze-like appearance of flat surfaces; at other times fluid, quick, and dynamic, influenced by the movement of the dancers he observed in the twenties; or suggesting volumes and forms imbued with motion, thus creating a sense of tactility that is usually not associated with linear definition, as in the depictions of bathers on the beach from the early twenties.

image banner

[PLATE 34]
Baigneuses [Bathers]

Paris, April 29, 1921

Pencil on paper

9 1/8 × 13 inches (23 × 33 cm)

Private Collection


The reality that Picasso’s Cubist experiments reveal is unsettled, not only in terms of their perceptual and formal aspects, but also through their tactile and emotional dimension.11 Through his desire to reconstitute a reality that is simultaneously moving and multiple, Picasso (together with his friend Georges Braque) offers in his Cubist compositions a corporeal image of the subject, a presence that belies the high degree of abstraction applied to the work. As we continue to consider Picasso’s approach to drawing, let us evoke the term “reconstructed tactility.”12 This idea that the hand can reconstitute not only what the eye sees, but also what the entire body feels, comes to the fore in Picasso’s paintings, but perhaps more so in his drawings, especially through the use of cross-hatching as a means to evoke volume and introduce spatial relationships. In this manner the artist offers a visual equivalent to the sense of touch, this desire to embrace and then reconstitute the world around him through the senses other than what we can see with our eyes.

Drawing includes a range of practices, allowing the hand and its natural extension—a pencil, charcoal, or pen dabbed in ink—to caress the surface of the sheet, applying more pressure here and there, changing course, creating volume where necessary. Touch and movement replicate some of the artist’s inclinations and impulses, acting as a source of sensual and carnal knowledge. The artist’s stance brings to mind feelings of empathy, to borrow an expression (Einfühlung) coined by the German philosopher Robert Vischer (1847–1933). Not only in terms of the scene shown in the composition—serenity, contemplation, harmony, rupture, treason—but also with regard to the gesture of the pen or the brush, the movement that is sometimes intense, abrupt, jerky, as if our body had to succumb to a tactile stimulation. It is as if these sensations could be replicated through various gestures, such as the movement and direction of pen or brush applied to paper, or the application of successive layers of color as a means to be faithful to one’s sense of objects in space.

Looking at Femme nue debout [Standing Female Nude], 1909 [PLATE 18], the beholder is confronted with a work that is deliberately unfinished. It is up to the viewer to complete the image in their mind, to reconstitute its fragments. Picasso’s strategy, in the wake of Cézanne’s watercolors in which different planes float independently of one another, is one that involves the fragmentation of the motif, the destruction of the object or, in this instance, the female form, before it can be rebuilt through a more deliberate construction of its individual pictorial elements. (Picasso’s manner in this work, as well as in many others from the Cubist period and beyond, can also be seen as a nod to the tradition of non-finito draftsmanship, whereby the artist focuses on certain elements while leaving others deliberately unfinished.)

Here Picasso’s constructed plasticity results from the flotation between the second and the implied third dimension of the image, triggering feelings of spatial disorientation and reorientation. As Stokes wrote, the object undergoes “an extremely evocative metamorphosis for the tactile sense in accordance with the multiplicity of the planes.”13 This gives the impression of an ensemble with a precarious equilibrium in which the third dimension reverts back to the flat surface.

Yet tactility is not necessarily related to this feeling of volume. A flat surface could also provoke a range of spatial effects, in which shading, cross-hatching, and various colored tints are replaced by simple linear definition. Such effects come to the fore in Nu au bord de la mer [Nude by the Sea], 1919 [PLATE 29], and Baigneuses [Bathers], 1921 [PLATE 34], two of a series of line drawings of bathers, goddesses, nymphs, and other mythical creatures derived from the ancient world that Picasso executed in the aftermath of the Great War. Inspired by antiquity, Picasso’s luminous drawings of bathers lying or playing on the beach are striking in their display of ease, their unalterable certainty, and in the seemingly eternal posture of their bodies, in which one rediscovers the finality and permanence of classical art—Picasso admired the sweeping lines of Athenian red-attic vase painting and Roman low-relief stone sculpture. In these works, flatness is transfigured by the line, which imbues the whiteness of the sheet of paper with a vibrancy that animates its surface.



In later years Picasso’s theatrum mundi had become deeply personal. He was living in the South of France in a state of luxurious seclusion, somewhat disengaged from his previous political activism. He used this time to rehearse themes that were dearest to him. Although he continued to produce paintings, drawing became his preferred way to engage with all aspects of life, by reenacting his fears and obsessions through the process of drawing. He resorted to memory—especially the memory of his early days in Spain—to create images which seem to illustrate stories. There’s a strong performative aspect to these later works, what we might call Picasso’s serialism, where he would confront the same cast of characters again and again. By constantly engaging in transformation, Picasso deepened his ideas, becoming obsessed with his power to conjure up new representations of the human body. Elements of the body are subject to playful games, spontaneous explorations of formal properties with lines that define not only a bodily presence, but also the space and light enveloping the model. Towards the end of his life, Picasso created an imaginary theater steeped in tradition, borrowing from the Ancient Greeks or Spanish masters, setting the stage for Baroque characters such as musketeers, acrobats, musicians, and models. These various scenes appear mostly in drawings and etchings, taking on the form of vignettes or tableaux vivants, which were executed, somewhat quickly, in the manner of traditional French images d’Épinal.

Large Image - Figure 5

[FIG. 5]

Le cirque [The Circus]

Mougins, December 17, 1968 / March 7, 1969

Ink, colored pencil, and crayon on paper

12 3/8 × 17 3/8 inches (31.5 × 44 cm)

Nationalgalerie, Museum Berggruen, Staatliche Museen, Berlin

Photo: bpk Bildagentur / Nationalgalerie, Museum Berggruen,

Staatliche Museen / Jens Ziehe / Art Resource, NY.

Many of the late works stage a direct confrontation between women and the men who are preying on them. The women are luxuriant, indolent, sexualized, and objectified, in contrast to the savage appearance of the bearded men who are lusting after them. In Le cirque [The Circus], 1968–69 [FIG. 5], next to the rider, Picasso depicts a ballerina who knowingly twists her body as she waits to be inspected by two men wearing top hats. In the series of etchings known as the Suite 347, 1968 [FIG. 6], women offer themselves to the gaze of men. The hirsute men are intent only on their inspection. In many of these drawings and etchings, Picasso introduces the voyeur, who is incorporated into the frame of the composition. Such is the case in the pastel, Homme au mouton, flûtiste, et têtes [Man Holding a Sheep, Flutist and Heads], 1967 [PLATE 76], which harks back to antique themes of Arcadia, some of the themes imbued with a timelessness that Picasso cultivated in these late works.

Large Image - FIgure 6

[FIG. 6]

Autoportrait transpose et dédoublé rêvant au cirque, avec Jacqueline en acrobate à la boule [Transposed and Duplicated Self-Portrait Dreaming of the Circus, with Jacqueline as an

Acrobat with a Ball] from Séries 347 [347 Series]

Mougins, March 26, 1968

Etching and drypoint on Rives paper, edition of 50

16 1/2 × 13 1/2 inches (41.9 × 34.3 cm)

Photo © Christie’s / Bridgeman Images.


In Picasso’s late works on paper, the same themes, reminiscent of 19th century Orientalist paintings in the manner of Eugène Delacroix and Ingres, appear again and again. This includes drawings and etchings, such as the Séries 347 [347 Series]. Apart from the obsessive reworking of perennial themes, there is a particular quality of visualization, an immediacy and an urgency that belies the historical references. Picasso’s world-encompassing gaze resonates with almost disturbing persistence. His late paintings are often exercises in which precision is sacrificed for the sake of emotional immediacy. Conversely, his drawings and etchings display a nervous energy; the human figure seems to be hovering between singularity and alterity, between empathy and dread or fear. When we look at Picasso’s motley cast of characters, we are in the presence of embodied beings not unlike ourselves. Yet they are different enough, and we start questioning our integrity and our identity as human beings. Picasso’s transformation of the body in his work points to a reorientation of our gaze, shifting how we perceive ourselves as physical and psychological beings.

The artist resorts to a number of ways of distorting the model, as well as the ways in which we see ourselves. Is this how we lose our identity? During the thirties and forties, different body parts were taken out of context, and reassembled in seemingly random yet telling ways. This sense of loss, of decay, is the gaze that the (painted) model bestows on the viewer. Already in much earlier works such as Portrait de Dora Maar [Femme debout la main droite derrière la tête [Portrait of Dora Maar (Woman Standing with Right Hand Behind Her Head)], 1939 [PLATE 64], the artist submits the model—his companion at the time—to a ritual fragmentation of her body, forms of mutilation in which destruction and violence are also forms of unleashing creative powers. As Picasso’s contemporary Georges Bataille has written, fragmentation and dislocation are quasi-religious forms of ritual sacrifice. (Bataille refers to some Ancient Greek cults that were devoted to Mithras and Dionysos. For them, the sacrificial ritual of splitting the body in half became a means of holding communion with the deity, or at least a way of appeasing it.14) In Picasso’s late works, the external gaze (that of the spectator as well as that of the painter) confronts the model with violence and urgency. These scenes also have the immediacy of Greek art, in terms of how they amplify the mundane and stage spectacles such as sacrifice and other forms of suffering; they are the repository of antiquity’s fears of transgression. It is a spirit in which contradictory forces and irrational impulses from debauchery to serenity, from the demonic to the sublime, are at play.

Picasso’s later works take the corporeality of the human form to the extreme. In some drawings, figures are subjected to dismembering and fragmentation. (We also see this frequently in earlier works like Picasso’s Nu couché [Reclining Nude], 1938 [PLATE 61].) Ultimately, the viewer turns away from the scene with a feeling of ambivalence and unease about such intimacy.

As we look at these drawings, we notice that Picasso is committed to a particular reading of the role of the artist: not only does he look intently at the world, probing the possibilities of an external reality, but Picasso also sees this process as something that requires mastery. The artist is not just an observer, who is more or less faithful to the realm of optical sensations, but also a participant in identifying with the world through the act of drawing, conjuring spaces that are real and imaginary, through both memory and desire. There is a ritual at work here, one that involves, especially in Picasso’s later years, an obsessive reworking of perennial themes such as the painter and model, the reclining nude, and circus scenes. Drawing becomes a performative activity, the rehearsal of an ongoing play, one that is capable of replicating a sense of space, the corporeality of things and people, that is both elusive and accessible.



I would like to thank Tobias Berggruen and my editor Mebrak Tareke for their comments and insights. This essay is the result of ideas that I have pursued over many years. Some of these have appeared, albeit in a different form and context, in “Picasso Monochrome,” in Picasso: Black and White, edited by Carmen Giménez, (New York/Munich: Guggenheim Museum/Delmonico-Prestel, 2012), 67-75; “Picasso and Metamorphosis” in Pablo Picasso, edited by Georg Frei (Zurich: Thomas Ammann, 2018); “Painting as Drama: Picasso’s Late Paintings,” in Picasso: The Late Work From the Collection of Jacqueline Picasso, edited by Ortrud Westheider and Michael Philipp (Munich: Prestel, 2019), 28-35; and “Antiquity Reinvented” in Divine Dialogues: Picasso and Antiquity, Line and Clay, edited by Olivier Berggruen and Nicholas Stampolidis (Athens: Museum of Cycladic Art, 2019), 59-71.z

TOP: Baigneuses [Bathers] (detail), Paris, April 29, 1921
Pencil on paper   |   9 1/8 × 13 inches (23 × 33 cm)   |   Private Collection
Photo by Kent Pell.

© 2021 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

T.J. Clark, Picasso and Truth: From Cubism to Guernica (Princeton University Press, 2013), 150.

See Richard Shiff, “Turn”, in Carmen Gimenez, ed., Picasso Black and White (New York: Guggenheim in association with Delmonico Books New York, 2012), 41–42

Au Lapin Agile, 1905. Oil on canvas, 99.1 x 100.3 cm. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, The Walter H. and Leonore Annenberg Collection.

Yve-Alain Bois refers to Picasso as a “trickster” in the title of his essay “Picasso the Trickster.” See Bois, ed., Picasso Harlequin 1917–1937 (Milano: Skira, 2008), 19–35

See Rosalind E. Krauss, The Picasso Papers (Boston: The MIT Press, 1999).

Brigitte Léal, “Picasso‘s Stylistic ‘Don Juanism’: Still Life in the Dialectic between Cubism and Classicism”, in Jean Sutherland Boggs, ed., Picasso and Things: The Still Lifes of Picasso (New York: Rizzoli, 1992), 30–37.

See Christian Zervos, Works From 1917 to 1919, vol. II**, Pablo Picasso (1942: repr., Paris: Éditions Cahiers d’Art, 2013), nos. 908–921.

Quoted in Marie-Laure Bernadac and Androula Michael, eds. Picasso: Propos sur l’art (Paris: Éditions Gallimard, 1998), 142.

Elsewhere, I have written that Picasso, in the wake of his fascination with the popular theater of his early Parisian years, was increasingly drawn to the ways in which the artificial nature of a situation was represented and exposed, particularly on stage. This came from the realization that theater, and more specifically, decorating for the stage, gave him a metaphor for assembling his paintings and other works,na method he first devised for his Cubist constructions. See Olivier Berggruen, “Pablo Picasso: The Theater as Metaphor,” in Berggruen and Max Hollein, eds., Picasso and das Theater (Berlin: Hatje Cantz, 2006), 27-37.

Adrian Stokes, “Matisse and Picasso,” in The Spectator, November 1933; reprinted in The Critical Writings of Adrian Stokes (London and New York: Thames & Hudson Ltd, 1978), vol. 1, 313. 

Ibid., p. 314.

Or truth, to refer to the title of T.J. Clark’s book on Picasso.

See Leo Steinberg, “The Algerian Women and Picasso at Large” (1972) in Steinberg, Other Criteria: Confrontations with Twentieth-Century Art (London: Oxford University Press, 1972), 191.

Adrian Stokes, “Greek Culture and the Ego,” in The Critical Writings of Adrian Stokes (London and New York: Thames & Hudson Ltd, 1978), vol. 3, 113.

See Documents, vol.II, no. 8 (Paris: 1930).