Sunday, December 4, 2011

Picasso, Pablo

Self Portrait Facing Death
done at the Mougins (located on the heights of Cannes)
30 June 1972
Pencil and crayon on paper
65.7 x 50.5 cm
Fuji Television Gallery, Tokyo

Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso, known as Pablo Picasso, (1881 – 1973) was a Spanish painter.
Based on sales of his works at auctions, he holds the title of top ranked artist. He was also a prolific artist with estimates of 50,000 works of art production in his lifetime, including paintings, drawings, sculptures, etc..
He worked up until the day he died at age 91; literally painting till 3 am on Sunday, April 8th, which was just hours before his death.
His last well known self-portrait, this exhibited painting,  was done a little less than a year before his death (June 30, 1972).

The painting is done with crayon on paper, taking several months to complete. A friend, Pierre, tells of his memory of a visit to Picasso, "Picasso held the drawing beside his face to show that the expression of fear was a contrivance." Then on another visit 3 months later, Pierre recalled that the harsh colored lines were even deeper, and Pierre writes, "He did not blink. I had the sudden impression that he was staring his own death in the face, like a good Spaniard".
There is much commentary about this painting. People talk about the fear of death Picasso had and how terrified his eyes look. They comment on the deep lines of age, and the work symbolizing Picasso's confrontation of death.