The Cleveland Museum of Art

Collection Online as of June 28, 2016

La Vie, 1903

oil on canvas, Framed: 239.00 x 170.00 x 10.00 cm (94 1/16 x 66 7/8 x 3 7/8 inches); Unframed: 196.50 x 129.20 cm (77 5/16 x 50 13/16 inches). Gift of the Hanna Fund 1945.24

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 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.

Signed upper left: "Picasso"

Washington DC The National Gallery of Art; Museum of Fine Arts Boston, "Picasso: The Early Years, 1892-1906" (March 30, 1997 - January 4, 1998) Detail p.6, p. 190.
Hartford, CT: Wadsworth Atheneum (6/7 - 9/23/01); The Cleveland Museum of Art (10/21/01 - 1/6/02) "Picasso: The Artist's Studio" exh. cat. no. 5, pp. 98-99; pp. 19, 22, 24, 63-87; color repr. pp. 62, 98.
The Cleveland Museum of Art (06/21/2005 - 09/11/2005); "CMA Highlights"
Museo Nacional del Prado (6/5/2006 - 9/10/2006): "Picasso: Tradición y Vanguardia" ex. cat. no. 1, p. 76-83.
Cleveland Museum of Art (10/15/2006 - 06/03/2007); The Metropolitan Museum of Art (03/04/2007 - 06/03/2007); "Barcelona & Modernity: Picasso, Gaudí. Miró, Dalí", fig. 1 (cat. 4:17), p. 135, repr. 134.
CMA (organizer). Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada: June 9 - Sept. 16, 2007; Cleveland Museum of Art, Oct. 21, 2007- January 13, 2008; Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville, TN, Feb. 21-June 1, 2008; Utah Museum of Fine Arts, Salt Lake City, UT, June 22 - September 21, 2008; and the Detroit Institute of Arts, MI, October 12, 2008 - January 18, 2009: "Modern Masters from the Cleveland Museum of Art"
The Cleveland Museum of Art (12/12/2012-4/21/2013): "Picasso and the Mysteries of Life: La Vie," p. XII, fig. 1.
Museu Picasso, Barcelona (10/10/2013 - 1/19/2014): "Journey through the blue: La Vie", p. 103, cat. no. 20.
Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, CT (9/11/2015 - 12/7/2015): Lend-Back: Painting the Modern Garden

Library materials about Pablo Picasso (1002)

Detail Views