(Spain, France 1881–1973)
46.3 x 37.7cm platemark; 64.4 x 50.6cm sheet
The sentimentality in certain of Picasso's images from his Rose and Blue periods at the beginning of the twentieth century is unmistakable. It is also strategic. The Spanish painter had a native interest in emotive themes, especially those arising from the bohemia in which he was steeped in both Barcelona and Paris. 'The frugal repast' makes a powerful psychological appeal to the viewer. A thin-lipped woman of brittle demeanour and physique rests her head on a rigid hand as if it were a shelf. Her blind companion palpates her with fleshless fingers. The setting before them is as sparse as a desert landscape. For all this desolation, however, Picasso's self-consciously mannerist style makes it plain that this is not a slice of life but a work of art - a contrived one at that. Old Masters such as El Greco and Rosso Fiorentino were his models as much as the living ones Picasso doubtless observed.
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Rex Irwin Art Dealer (Australia, estab. 1976) (Author), Les peintres graveurs de Paris, Woollahra, 1994, (illus.). cat.no. 19
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Great collections (2009), Tweed River Regional Art Gallery, 06 Feb 2009–15 Mar 2009.