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This exhibition is a tribute to this essential part of our collection, exploring Picasso’s links with the tradition of Spanish painting, and with Velázquez in particular, while proposing new readings of the series Las Meninas, thanks in part to the numerous subsequent interpretations and contributions made by various contemporary artists..

Between August and December 1957, in his studio at La Californie, Cannes, Picasso embarked on a comprehensive analysis of Las Meninas by Velázquez Thomas Struth<br />Museo del Prado 6<br />Madrid 2006<br />Photograph mounted on Plexiglas (Diasec)<br />172,6 x 211,8 cm<br />Inv 9451<br />Courtesy of the artist in line with the interpretations of works by great artists —Manet, Courbet, Poussin, Delacroix, El Greco, Cranach…— that he made from the end of World War II on. In 1968 the artist donated this entire series of fifty-eight oil paintings, consisting of forty-four interpretations of the Velázquez picture, nine Pigeons, three landscapes and two free interpretations, to the Museu Picasso in Barcelona.

Picasso’s own account of his initial attitude when he created his Meninas Pablo Picasso<br />Las Meninas (conjunto)<br />Canes 1957<br />Oil on canvas<br />194 X 260 cm<br />Donation of the artist, 1968<br />Museu Picasso, Barcelona<br />MPB 70.433, was recorded by Jaume Sabartés in his book L’Atelier de Picasso, published in 1952: 'If anyone were to copy Las Meninas in complete good faith, and for example got to a certain point – and if I were the copier – would say to myself, and if I just put this a little more to the right or to the left?. I would try to do it in my own way, forgetting about Velázquez”.

So it is not only a matter of going back into the past and highlighting Picasso’s continuities and breaks with tradition  Diego Velázquez <img src='img/transpa.gif' width='230' height='7' /> Pablo Picasso<br /> Las Meninas (detail) <img src='img/transpa.gif' width='205' height='7' /> Las Meninas<br /> Museo del Prado, Madrid <img src='img/transpa.gif' width='190' height='7' /> Museu Picasso, Barcelona<br /> <img src='img/transpa.gif' width='316' height='7' /> MPB 70.463 (detail), but also of exploring the survival of the motif of Las Meninas through the history of art to the present, bringing together the many contemporary interpretations of it that engage in a dialogue not only with the work by Velázquez but also and very evidently with the work created by Picasso. This is, then, an exhibition that invites the visitor to rediscover the Museum’s collection and its permanent exhibition in the light of this new contextualization.


article catalogue  "Meninas and Infantas: History of a Seduction: 1656-1901"    
Text of Javier Portús, reproduced in the catalogue

article catalogue  "‘Más Meninas’: Through the Looking Glass, Repeatedly"    
Text of Gertje R. Utley, reproduced in the catalogue

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