Aimez-vous Picasso … ?

Do you like Picasso ? If you do, Paris is the place to be in. Today, October 8 2008, here in Paris, three parallel Picasso exhibitions open. The largest of the three is at the Grand Palais. The other two are at the Louvre and the Museum d’Orsay. The exhibitions are described as “the event […]

Do you like Picasso ?

If you do, Paris is the place to be in.

Today, October 8 2008, here in Paris, three parallel Picasso exhibitions open. The largest of the three is at the Grand Palais. The other two are at the Louvre and the Museum d’Orsay. The exhibitions are described as “the event of the year”. The exhibitions will run through February 2 2009. One is advised to reserve a day and an hour for the Grand Palais’. This will reduce waiting time to half an hour only; without a reservation one risks having to wait several hours to reach the ticket office.

The Grand Palais’ exhibition is titled “Picasso and his Masters”. It is an exploration of the influence that other artists had on Picasso. Artists like El Greco, Diego Vélasquez, Goya, Zurburan, Poussin, Le Nain, Chardin, David, Ingres, Courbet, Lautrec, Degas, Puvis de Chavannes, Cézanne, Renoir, Gauguin, Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Titien and Cranach. This means that those paintings that had inspired Picasso hang beside his.

The Louvre’s exhibition focuses on the inspiration Picasso drew from Delacroix’s “Women of Algiers in their Apartment” painted in 1834. Picasso’s set of paintings – there are 20 – were done from 1954-55. The paintings are exhibited in the Louvre’s Denon Wing which is on the first floor, and in Room 76.

The Museum d’Orsay’s exhibition is an extension of the Grand Palais’ “Picasso and his Masters” but it focuses on the influence of Manet’s “Déjeuner sur l’herbe” on Picasso’s work. The paintings are exhibited in Rooms 17, 18, 19, 20 and 21.

It is the first time in museum history that three major museums are coming together to host an exhibition at the same time and in the same city. Thomas Grenon, Director of the Society of National Museums of France, explained: “We looked at our diaries and said, “Why not?” The three exhibitions ran up a bill of US$5.8 million (€ 4.3 million – ₤3.4 million) in insurance and things like transport costs as paintings had to be brought from all over the world. The combined value of the paintings is billions of Euros. I think though that it’s more accurate to say that it’s impossible to put a value to it; there are over 200 paintings with 120 in the Grand Palais alone.

A ticket to each of the exhibits will put you down 12 Euro.

If you won’t be coming this way before February 2, but you all the same want to impress your dinner guests, here is some useless information you could pass on.

On April 8 1973, Picasso, aged 92, collapsed while he and his wife Jacqueline were entertaining friends to dinner in their villa in Mougins, South of France. His last words were: “Drink to me, drink to my health, you know I can’t drink any more”.

And what about this? Picasso’s real name was Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno Maria de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santisima Trinidad Martyr Patricio Clito Ruiz y Picasso. Voila! Makes the Suris and the Sundays and Brooklyns and the Silohs of today look pathetic!

(Pictures: The advertising poster from the Grand Palais exhibition; Velasquez an Picasso’s “Infante Marie Marguerite”, and Picasso’s “Dejeuner sur l’herbe”.

Marilyn Z. Tomlins

3 Responses to “Aimez-vous Picasso … ?”

  1. 3
    gynie Says:

    It’s nice to watch his paintings, even if i prefer Picasso’s sculptures, but even more Matisse paintings ^^

    I don’t like what most people like in Picasso : he is always figured out like a genius, he has a famous name.

  2. 2
    Satima Flavell Says:

    You are so lucky to live in Paris, Marilyn. Do you get to many exhibitions? I suppose you’ve lived there long enough to feel a bit blasé about the Louvre and Notre Dame etc, but even so, there must always be something wonderful to see.

  3. 1
    Jo Says:

    What a name!! Actually I don’t like Picasso at all. Never enjoyed any of his paintings that I have ever seen.

    Nice to see you blogging.

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