Picasso — El Greco: two avant-gardists

ART & the Art World (theartwolf)
2 min readJun 12, 2022
Picasso - El Greco: two avant-gardists

Picasso — El Greco: two avant-gardists

El Greco — Holy Family — Madrid El EscorialPablo Picasso — Madame Canals — 1905

From 11 June to 25 September 2022, the Kunstmuseum Basel presents an exhibition exploring the influence of El Greco on the work of Pablo Picasso.

Images: El Greco, “The Holy Family with Saint Anne and the Infant John”, c.1600. Museo del Prado, Madrid ·· Pablo Picasso, “Madame Canals (Benedetta Bianco)”, 1905. Picasso Museum, Barcelona.

Perhaps the most important figure of the 20th-century avant-garde, Pablo Picasso was by no means alien to the European artistic tradition from which at many points (through Cubism and the incorporation of African art) he sought to break away from. Last week, the National Gallery in London presented “Picasso / Ingres: Face to Face”, an exhibition showing Pablo Picasso’s “Woman with a Book” (1932) together with the work that inspired it, “Madame Moitessier” (1856) by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres. And until 26 June, the Picasso Museum in Malaga is presenting an exhibition with the very explanatory title “Face to Face. Picasso and the Old Masters”.

Now, the Kunstmuseum Basel presents “Picasso — El Greco”, which studies the influence on Picasso of the work of one of the most original and innovative painters in the history of European art, Domenikos Theotokopoulos, El Greco (1541–1614). The exhibition includes some 40 paintings, including several works created by Picasso at very different stages of his career, from his early “Self-Portrait” (1901) to “The Musketeer (Domenico Theotocopoulos van Rijn da Silva)”, painted in 1967; as well as several important works by El Greco, such as his “The Adoration of the Name of Jesus” (1577–79), from the Monastery of El Escorial.

The Kunstmuseum Basel explains that “El Greco’s unmistakable painting style won him considerable fame in his day. Soon after his death, however, his work was largely forgotten. It was only around 1900 that an El Greco revival was launched, with Picasso serving on the front lines. His engagement with the Greek-Spanish master not only went far deeper than has previously been assumed but also lasted much longer. El Greco’s influence is just as palpable in Picasso’s works from the 1930s and 1940s as it is in the earlier Cubist paintings. Even at the end of his life, Picasso continued to reference El Greco. Not only does the show open up new perspectives on two towering artists of their times. It also offers fresh insight into their importance as a constellation for the development of avant-garde art in the twentieth century.”

After its run in Basel, “Picasso — El Greco” will be on view at the Museo del Prado, Madrid, from 25 October 2022 to 26 February 2023. #2022 #theartwolf

--

--

ART & the Art World (theartwolf)

ART magazine aimed to offer an original & independent point of view about the Art World ▷ Its news, events, protagonists, glories and miseries.