Picasso Looks at Degas


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Elizabeth Cowling and Richard Kendall; With contributions by Cécile Godefroy, Sarah Lees, and Montse Torras

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The great Spanish painter and sculptor Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) exhibited a lifelong fascination—some might say “obsession”—with the work and personality of French artist Edgar Degas (1834-1917). In this groundbreaking study, noted Degas scholar Richard Kendall and Picasso expert Elizabeth Cowling present well-documented instances of Picasso’s direct responses to Degas’s work, as well as more conceptual and challenging affinities between their oeuvres. Richly illustrated essays explore the artists’ parallel interests in modern urban life, ballet dancers, activities such as bathing and combing the hair, photography, and the challenges of sculpture. The book also provides the first extended analysis of Picasso’s engagement with Degas’s art in his final years, when he acquired several of the French artist’s brothel monotypes and reworked some of them in his own prints. Offering many fresh ideas and a significant amount of new material about two of the most popular and influential artists of the modern era, this handsome book promises to make a lasting contribution to the literature on both artists.

Distributed for the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute

Exhibition Schedule:

Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute (06/13/10–09/12/10)

Museu Picasso, Barecelona (10/14/10–01/16/11)

Elizabeth Cowling is Professor Emeritus of History of Art at Edinburgh University, and an independent scholar and exhibition curator. Richard Kendall is Consultative Curator of Nineteenth-Century Art at the Clark, as well as an independent scholar and exhibition curator. Cécile Godefroy is a researcher at the Fundación Almine y Bernard Ruiz-Picasso para el Arte in Madrid. Sarah Lees is Associate Curator of European Art at the Clark. Montse Torras is Exhibitions Coordinator at the Museu Picasso in Barcelona.


Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute (06/13/10–09/12/10)

Museu Picasso, Barecelona (10/14/10–01/16/11)

“Cowling and Kendall’s lavishly illustrated catalogue sets out an ambitious agenda and meets it successfully at every turn.”—Samantha Rippner, Print Quarterly

"The scholars present new connections between the artists' lives and reveal the extent to which the younger artist was fascinated by the elder's art and personality."—Dylan Klempner, Art New England

Recipient of the 2011 Independent Publisher Book Award in Fine Art, Silver
ISBN: 9780300134124
Publication Date: July 13, 2010
Publishing Partner: Distributed for the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute
368 pages, 9 1/2 x 11 1/2
9 b/w + 310 color illus.
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