The Process of Picasso

On October 25, 1881, artist Pablo Picasso was born in Spain. In honor of his birthday, we take a closer look at one of the Cleveland Museum of Art's most significant works by the artist, La Vie, on view now.

In 1901, depressed over the suicide of a close friend, Picasso launched into the melancholic paintings of his Blue Period (1901-4). Only 20 years old and desperately poor, he restricted his palette to cold colors suggestive of night, mystery, dreams, and death. His obsession with themes of human misery and social alienation reached its climax with this painting. The subject of La Vie has been interpreted variously as an allegory of sacred and profane love, a symbolic representation of the cycle of life, and a working-class couple facing the hazards of real life. In these video clips below, William Robinson, the Cleveland Museum of Art's curator of Modern European Art, along with the museum's Senior Conservator of Paintings, Marcia Steele, discuss Picasso's process behind La Vie. 



 “Reproduction, including downloading of Pablo Picasso works is prohibited by copyright laws and international conventions without the express written permission of Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

 Leave your birthday wishes for Picasso in the comments below, and view more about Picasso's La Vie via our ArtLens app!


> Purchase the catalogue: Picasso and the Mysteries of Life: La Vie (Cleveland Masterworks)












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