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Le Nain, Chardin, Corot: these are some of the ancient masters who, a priori, we might not expect to find in the works in the home of Picasso, as they seem to belong to the past. But for Picasso, these works of art were very much alive, they were the sensitive expression of sincere artists and, in this sense, an example of pure painting, characterised throughout with clumsiness: «These people knew a lot about composition, but they did not follow their work though to the end; they lost their vision along the way. That said, maybe it is this clumsiness that gives them their charm», remarked Picasso about Le Nain

Bernadac, Marie-Laure, Michael, Androula, Picasso, propos sur l’art, Paris, Gallimard, 1998
. But he was also thinking about La Tour, Zurbarán and even Velázquez...

It is these works of art in which we find this frank and inventive contact with the reality that Picasso was so deeply united with: «I have never been outside of what is real. I have always been in the heart of what is real». Effectively, guitars, pipes, tables and bottles define his universe, including – and above all else!- in his most abstract phase of Cubism.

The modernity, therefore, of Picasso adapts itself perfectly to the legacy of our great masters. There is neither servile submission to them or rupture at whatever price. «From the point of view of art, there are no abstract or concrete forms; there are only forms which lie, and which are more or less convincing», in Picasso’s own words. This premise, in portraying reality, is not a constraint but is, on the contrary, the greatest liberty.


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