Sun, 10 Mar 2013
Picasso in Place

The Courtauld Gallery at Somerset House has a small exhibition on at the moment called Becoming Picasso. It's small but perfectly formed, and a wonderful way to spend some time, for not too much money.


Dwarf-Dancer, 1901

The exhibition covers the year 1901 alone: the year Picasso had his first exhibition in his new home Paris.

You can clearly see the many influences on his painting here, influences that place him right at the heart of the same Parisian milieu portrayed by familiar artists like Degas, Van Gogh and Toulouse-Lautrec. We see similar scenes in the music halls and familiar characters, from the dancer to the ansinthe drinker.

Picasso was a very productive artist and lived a long time, so there's a lot of art to look at. For those that care less for some of the later, more abstract work, these paintings are a very good reminder of what a genius he was. There are some really beautiful paintings here, colourful and impressionistic.

Not only is the gallery cheap (£6), it has a superb permanent collection of some of the greatest paintings in the country, including Gauguin, Rubens and Van Gogh. The paintings are only a small part of a much larger collection that includes ceramics and furniture.


Manet, A Bar at the Folies-Bergère, 1881-2


Pesellino, The Annunciation, 1450-55

They also have some real masterpieces in their collection of Gothic and Medieval work.

Including an Annunciation by Pesellino, from the 15th Century.