Picasso et les Maîtres

Wednesday, 1/14/09

Outside the Grand Palais, waiting in line:

outside musem

Wednesday night we had the opportunity to see a really unusual exhibit at the Grand Palais entitled “Picasso et les Maîtres.”  It was a collection of works by Picasso and other artists who preceded him – El Greco, Rembrandt, Goya, and Cézanne, to name a few – that demonstrated how Picasso drew inspiration from the other artists’ styles and subject material. I always thought of Picasso as being very revolutionary, and completely distinct from his predecessors.  However, as the exhibit showed, Picasso actually studied the masters’ works very carefully, and often worked on series of paintings that reinterpreted works from an older style.

Not only was it striking to realize how much inspiration Picasso drew from more traditional artists, but it was also fantastic to see so many magnificent paintings in one place.  The exhibit collected some of the most notable pieces of both Picasso and the older artists to juxtapose them, which meant that we had the luxury of exploring acclaimed works of art that spanned multiple decades. Since our theme for the trip was tradition and modernity, it was almost as if the exhibit was designed just for us!