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Artwork Analysis: ‘Nude, Green Leaves and Bust’ by Pablo Picasso
Pablo Picasso’s complete name is Pablo Ruiz Picasso. He was of Spanish origin and was born in 1881 and died in 1972 at the age of 91. Picasso is regarded as one the greats in the field of modern art. He is credited with being the co-founder of the Cubist movement which is an early 20th century avant-garde movement. Picasso shares credit for this movement along with Georges Braque. Later other notable artists like Jean Metzinger, Albert, Robert Delaunay Henri and Juan Gris joined this movement and revolutionised European art.
Love with Marie Therese Walter
Pablo Picasso was an emotional man. In 1927 he met 17-year-old Marie-Thérèse Walter who was then only 17 and fell in love with her, though he was already married. He fathered one daughter from her, but never divorced his wife.
Marie Therese and her Effect “Nude, Green Leaves and Bust”
During the period Picasso had his affair with Marie-Therese, she exerted a deep influence on him, though this did not deter him from having affairs with other women, some of them nearly four decades younger than him. During the period Marie was his muse and love he painted a series of paintings with her as his center piece. The first of these paintings titled ‘Nude, Green Leaves and Bust’ was painted in 1932. Marie was the inspiration behind these paintings. The painting is fairly large and stands over five feet. It is painted in blue and lilac colors and brings out Picasso’s deep passion for Marie who was 29 years younger than him.
The War Years
Around this time Picasso had become friends with a French-Jewish art dealer named Paul Rosenberg. Picasso was staying in France at this time. War clouds were gathering over Europe and Rosenberg took an excuse of exhibiting the work in New York and shipped the painting out of France in 1939. This was a sane step as Picasso was not in favor with the Nazi’s who had occupied France. Picasso remained in France during the war years, while his painting remained in the United States.
History of the Painting after the war
Rosenberg put the painting on display at his gallery on East 57th street. The painting was bought by Francis Brody in 1951 and after that went out of public display. It was displayed only once in 1961 on the 80th birthday of Picasso. Francis Brody died in 2009. After his death the painting was put on auction in 2010 by Christies in New York City. The painting was auctioned for $106 million which was a record price at that time.
Analysis of the Painting
‘Nude, Green leaves and Bust‘ is Picasso’s deep passion for his blonde mistress Marie. The girl it appears was infatuated with Picasso despite his many affairs. She committed suicide after his death. A tragic end to a tale of love. There is no doubt that the painting which is now displayed on loan at Tate gallery was inspired by the young mistress of Picasso.
Picasso greatly liked philodendron leaves. He represented them in his painting of Marie by showing they emanated from her side.
The painting of Marie is one of Picasso’s finest works and in it he has left an endearing image of a girl who gave everything up for him.
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