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Mlle Leonie on a Chaise Longue, Plate III in "Saint Matorel" by Max Jacob, 1910, summer, Cadaques or Paris

Pablo Picasso

Spanish, 1881-1973
Etching, scraper and drypoint. 3rd state, on Van Gelder paper
plate: 7-7/8 x 5-5/8 in. (20.0 x 14.3 cm)
Norton Simon Art Foundation
M.1977.17.3.G
© 2013 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York Reproduction, including downloading of ARS works is prohibited by copyright laws and international conventions without the express written permission of Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Not on view

At the height of his interest in Cubism, Pablo Picasso applied his radical spatial experiments to all of his work, regardless of medium or subject matter. Here Picasso illustrates a scene from Saint Matorel, a novel by Max Jacob that positioned the author as a leader among modernist writers. The story expounds on Jacob’s complex religious experience (he was born a Jew, and converted to Catholicism). Picasso depicts a barely discernible Mlle. Léonie—the wife of protagonist Victor Matorel. During his analytic Cubist period, as shown here, Picasso was at his most abstract, dissolving representational subject matter into an unrecognizable gnarl of zigzagging lines. Though Picasso shortly moved on from this style, the four illustrations made for Jacob’s novel were shown at the second Blue Rider exhibition in Munich, where Paul Klee and Vasily Kandinsky, among others, were likely to have been inspired by their near-abstraction.


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