The Man, The Myth, Picasso
Few artists compare to Picasso’s oeuvre, artistic talent and personality. A man of many loves and secrets, he lived an exciting life that was full of passion and adventure, so it is no wonder that many misconceptions surround him. Some are fanciful, some are horrible and some are unbelievable. However everything has some hint of truth to it and so below for your pleasure are little known stories of Picasso that are just a tad on the unbelievable side to be true but are.
Picasso and Stolen Art:
Long suspected of having a hand in stealing the Mona Lisa (one of it’s multiple times), Picasso at least appears to have been aware of another Louvre theft. In 1911, authorities discovered that Picasso was in possession of two Iberian statues that were stolen from the Louvre by his known acquaintance, Géry Pieret, four years earlier. Géry Pieret was the secretary of Picasso’s good friend Guillaume Apollinaire, and at the time, the artist claimed he had no idea that the statues were stolen. However it’s been argued that Picasso had full knowledge of the origins and may have even commissioned the heist, with the entire ordeal going down in history as the “affaire des statuettes.”
Given his admiration of Iberian art, art history professor Noah Charney argues “Picasso was a regular visitor to the Louvre and a passionate admirer of Iberian art, which he felt was the root of all Spanish art. It is inconceivable that he would not recognize the statue heads presented him by Géry Pieret … It is also beyond plausibility that Géry Pieret would randomly choose to steal a pair of statues that were so ideally suited to Picasso’s tastes, and then happen to offer them … to the Spaniard.”
Picasso the Gun Slinger:
Inspired by the lifestyle and works of French writer Alfred Jarry, Picasso copied his many quirks of carrying around a revolver. Whereas Jarry’s revolver was loaded, Picasso choose to carry his empty upon which he would fire at admirers inquiring about the meaning of his paintings or anyone he found dull.
Picasso the Artist Maker:
A man of may tastes and talents; Picasso was involved in many artistic scenes. Often holding receptions for authors, poets, and artists Picasso’s intentions were not always polite. Picasso had little like of Henri Rousseau’s art but started inviting Rousseau to hang out with his friends in jest, which Rousseau apparently didn’t understand. As a further joke, Picasso held a fake party for Henri Rousseau, who was so secure in his talents that he took it for real acclaim and honor, telling Picasso: “You and I are the greatest painters of our time. You in the Egyptian style, I in the modern!” However afterwards the joke was on Picasso as his relationship and subsequent promotion of Rousseau led to Rousseau becoming quite successful during his lifetime.
MORE ON PABLO PICASSO:
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- Pablo Picasso in Vallauris, a Place for Invention: Linocuts, Ceramics and Love
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- Pablo Picasso’s Blue Period (1901-1904)
- Pablo Picasso’s Rose Period (1904-1906)
- The Background on Pablo Picasso’s Guernica
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