In the 1950s and 1960s, Picasso turned increasingly to printmaking. This work, one of his earliest linocuts, is based on Lucas Cranach’s Portrait
of a Young Woman, from 1564, which was printed on a postcard sent to Picasso from his dealer Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler. Picasso’s version was
as much a trial of his newfound interest in printmaking as it was an assertion to connect both to his dealer and to a great artist of the past. But because the work is a portrait, albeit one nearly 400 years removed from the original sitter, it inevitably sparks a dialogue about the nature of the genre. Indeed, several pictures in this exhibition are like Picasso’s—portraits of portraits. In using a portrait to begin a conversation with one’s creative predecessor, one necessarily engages the conventions attached to the genre. The result of this pictorial recycling, however, is an undermining of the purpose of portraiture, which, at its core, is a presentation of a sitter to his or her public. The intent shifts, and the focus on the sitter is exchanged for a consideration of the relationship between artists instead.
- Artist Name: Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881-1973)
- Title: Portrait of a Young Woman (after Lucas Cranach the Younger) II
- Date: 1958
- Medium: Linocut
- Edition: Edition of 50, No. 3
- Dimensions: comp: 25-1/2 x 21 in. (64.8 x 53.3 cm); sheet: 30-1/4 x 22-1/4 in. (76.8 x 56.5 cm)
- Credit Line: Norton Simon Art Foundation, Gift of Mr. Norton Simon
- Accession Number: M.1979.69.01.G
- Copyright: © Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Picasso: Graphic Magician, Prints from the Norton Simon Museum
- Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts at Stanford University, 1999-01-24 to 1999-03-28
- Toledo Museum of Art, 1999-11-07 to 2000-01-16
- Norton Simon Museum, 2000-04-12 to 2000-09-04
Campbell, Sara, Collector Without Walls: Norton Simon and His Hunt for the Best, cat. 171 p. 266
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