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Mythologies, Graphic Work in the Collection of the Museum

November 24th 2016 - March 19th 2017

Pablo Picasso. Faune músic núm.4. Valauri, 10 de març del 1948. Litografia. Aiguada sobre planxa de zinc, estampada sobre paper vitel·la Arches (prova Sabartés). 76,3 x 56,2 cm (làmina). Museu Picasso, Barcelona. Donació Jaume Sabartés, 1962. MPB 70.119. Museu Picasso, Barcelona. Fotografia: Gasull Fotografia © Successió Pablo Picasso, VEGAP, Madrid 2016

Throughout his life, Picasso felt an attraction for the world of mythology, as demonstrated by his first drawing preserved; Hercules (1890), the legendary hero known for his superhuman strength.

Picasso the engraver, recreated scenes and characters taken from the fertile world of Greco-Roman mythology. He would describe myths and narrate stories that had been based on a religion or a system of beliefs, and that have lasted to this day, especially in the world of plastic arts. In this unreal world with an aim for the truth, as told by ones and others over the course of time, Picasso, like so many other artists, offers his stories of gods or other natural phenomenon, more or less deified, as well as legends about heroes and heroines; legends that try to explain the forces and phenomenon of nature and the qualities or moral realities of the individual man and his social experiences, which represent ideas or symbols. The graphic work of Picasso shows a succession of mythological protagonists such as Hercules, Apollo, Calydon, Cephalus, Meleager, Nestor, Pollux, Poseidon, the Minotaur, Zeus and of other fantastic beings such as centaurs, fauns and muses, and they explain trivial facts about everyday life, prowess, pleasures, pain, tragedy, etc. Myths that are the protagonists of a series of marvellous prints that were elaborated with different techniques: etching, aquatint, drypoint, lithography, linoleum, etc.

In this fusion of narration and history that becomes the myth, Picasso pours out all his creative genius. He worked with copper plate, zinc, linoleum, and stone with an overwhelming freedom of brushstrokes, enormous expressive vigor, and sublime shading.

Curated by: Claustre Rafart