On the busiest day of my first trip to Paris, I "raided" five museums and was only able to visit four of them, since the fifth was closed for renovation. One of those five museums was Musée national Picasso Paris, inside the Hotel Salé, located in the Marais, one of the historic districts of Paris.
There were works from many periods of Picasso's long career in the museum. Being partial to his more figurative works, my top choices went to his portrait and his figurative paintings. My top choice was a portrait, named "Olga pensive", which was marvelously understated, yet charged with inner tension, manifested by the angular angles formed by his bent head and arms. The outline of the figure, particularly her left arm, was fluid, eloquent and engaging. Her pale skin, setting off her maroon hair and the deep blue dress dramatically. I also liked the way Picasso cast the shadows on the sitter's arms, neck and chin - gently gradated, and beautifully textured.
Olga pensive, 1923, 1933
The second piece was a dramatic curtain he designed for Diaghilev Ballet Russes. It showcased two monumental women, with impossibly round and strong limbs and torsos, running in the most excited fashion and in impossibly wonderful poses. I loved the sheer immensity of the figures and the weight they carried about. They were the primal goddesses, the essence of the existence of the earth and the human race.
Deux femmes courant sur la plage (La course), (Two Women Running on the Beach (The Race)) 1922 (été)
My Favorite Museum Collection Series
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