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Sculpteurs, modèles et sculpture (Sculptors, models and sculpture)

Sculpteurs, modèles et sculpture
Pablo Ruiz y Picasso
(Spanish, 1881-1973)
Sculpteurs, modèles et sculpture
(Sculptors, models and sculpture)
Gift of the MU Student Capital Improvements Committee

Born in Málaga, Spain, Pablo Picasso received most of his early training in Barcelona before settling in Paris in 1900. He spent much of the first half of his career in the French capital city, where he worked as a painter, sculptor, and printmaker. This etching is plate 41 in the series “The Sculptor’s Studio” from the well-known Vollard Suite (a group of ninety-seven etchings produced between 1930 and 1936 and printed by Ambroise Vollard). During this period of his career, Picasso was interested in combining classicized linear drawing with abstract elements in his work.

Sculpteurs, modèles et sculpture represents two bearded males, (presumably the sculptors), a seated male figure (perhaps a model, a sculptor or a sculpture), a female figure looking through a window (a model?), and an abstract sculpture representing a woman. The grouping encourages viewers to contemplate the relationship between creator, creation, and model. It is not absolutely clear which figures are meant to represent “real” people, and which represent art objects. The fact that all the figures are ultimately Picasso’s creations adds to the image’s ambiguity.

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