News / Arte @en

Pablo Picasso illustrates a story by Honoré de Balzac

The exhibition Pablo Picasso and Honoré de Balzac's 'The unknown masterpiece' comprises 13 etchings that the artist completed in 1931 to accompany a special centenary edition of Balzac's short story. The exhibition could be visited in Fundación Juan March in Palma until next 18 May 2013. The Andalusian painter, widely recognized to have been one of the greatest printmakers of all time, produced thirteen etchings to accompany Balzac's work. Set in the 17th century in the Parisian studio of an aging artist, Frenhofer, Balzac's story revolves around the painter's obsession with a work which he has secretly spent years struggling to finish.

The short story fascinated Picasso, who identified with Frenhofer, the frustrated genius who created works of art so ahead of his time that no one understands them. Picasso seized the opportunity offered by Vollard's commission to render tribute to the act of creation itself. As a result, the etchings are not so much illustrations of Balzac's story as Picasso's reflections on the subject of the artist-creator and the intimate relation between the artist and his model. This, indeed, is the theme of most of the thirteen works that make up this exhibition of the "The Unknown Masterpiece".

© Image of a painting by Picasso. Pintor ante su caballete, 1927

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