The Evolving Life of Images: Picasso and the Old Masters

The Norton Simon Museum presents The Evolving Life of Images: Picasso and the Old Masters,  an exhibition of forty-four etchings and aquatints culled from different periods of Pablo Picasso's career. The prints document his attraction to some of the great monuments of painting and sculpture.

Picasso was influenced by a number of artists whom he considered his friendly rivals, including Cranach, Rembrandt, Velasquez, and Ingres. In pictoral dialogues with his artistic heritage, Picasso gave images from the past new life. His variations on the works of others was neither derivative nor derisive, rather, they indicate a genuine and intelligent search for the immediate human reality of the figures that have been subjected to the artifice of art. Such references by Picasso may be seen in his paintings and drawings, but they are most inciseively and consistently remarked upon in his prints. And in a very twentieth century manner, they are frequently turned into metaphors from which arise ghosts, guides, and voyeurs, all personal to Picasso. The exhibition features examples from Picasso's illustrations for Ovid's Metamorphoses, the Vollard Suite, 1930-31, and the 347 Series, 1968, among others.