Images of Her Sadness; Picasso Breaks Convention with Fernande Portraits in National Gallery Exhibit
Byline: Joanna Shaw-Eagle, THE WASHINGTON TIMES
An unusual kind of sadness envelops the National Gallery of Art's exhibi- tion "Picasso: The Cubist Portraits of Fernande Olivier." The display of 78 paintings, drawings and sculptures shows the artist moving away from tra- ditional portrait conventions of capturing a likeness - here, his first love, "la belle Fernande" (the beautiful Fernande) - to evoking her often unhappy image with revolutionary cubist techniques.
It wasn't easy even for this great master of 20th-century art. Along with the painter Georges Braque, Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) fragmented three-dimensional objects and broke them into multiple facets so that people would look at everyday things in completely new ways.
Some of these objects were beautiful women like the artist's mistress, but this approach didn't really work in a personal way for poor Fernande. She probably would have wanted her lover to paint her realistically and sensuously, like other academic portraits of that time.
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Publication information: Article title: Images of Her Sadness; Picasso Breaks Convention with Fernande Portraits in National Gallery Exhibit. Contributors: Not available. Newspaper title: The Washington Times (Washington, DC). Publication date: October 4, 2003. Page number: B01. © 2009 The Washington Times LLC. COPYRIGHT 2003 Gale Group.
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