Some of Pablo Picasso’s greatest works go on display in Paris this week, in an exhibition that charts a pivotal year in which he cemented his status as a titan of 20th-century art.
“Picasso 1932: Erotic Year”, chronicles the Spanish artist’s prolific creativity over those 12 months, referred to in the art world as his “year of wonders”.
Picasso produced more than 300 works of art in 1932 and the exhibition at Paris’ Musee Picasso features over 100 of them. They include the masterpiece “The Dream” – a highly eroticized portrait of a sleeping Marie-Therese Walter, who was the artist’s mistress at the time.
Another highlight is “Girl Before a Mirror”, which also depicts Walter.
“We called 1932 an erotic year because Picasso used eroticism as a driving force in his painting,” exhibition curator Virginie Perdrisot told Reuters.
“These works, mainly the paintings, are loaded with a strong erotic power and it is through this erotic power that Picasso produced even stronger and more expressive artworks.”
Many of the works on display are on loan from private collections or from museums overseas – “Girl Before a Mirror” rarely leaves the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
Picasso is widely considered to be one of the most influential artists of the 20th century, and 1932 also saw two major exhibitions of his work, in Paris and Zurich.
French President Emmanuel Macron was accompanied by Picasso’s daughter Maya as he toured the exhibition at the weekend, before it opens to the public on Tuesday. It will run until Feb. 11.
The artist and sculptor created 13,500 paintings and 300 sculptures, among other artworks, during his lifetime, according to the official Picasso website. He died in 1973 at the age of 92.