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The Ram's Head, 1925

Pablo Picasso

Spanish, 1881-1973
Oil on canvas
31-1/2 x 39 in. (80.0 x 99.1 cm)
Norton Simon Museum, Gift of Mr. Alexandre P. Rosenberg
© 2014 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

On view

Pablo Picasso, one of the most influential and celebrated artists of the 20th century, is perhaps best known for his championing of Cubism. During the 1920s, he combined elements from the Classical, Cubist, and Surrealist movements creating a series of still life paintings. Compactly arranged, Picasso's "Ram's Head" imposes the cubist idiom over cups, tablecloths, and other motifs re-presenting them as geometric circles and flat planes of color, which then border and taunt the imposing head of a ram. The classically derived subject matter of the still life, a table laden with sea life and an animal head -- all the elements necessary for a meal -- slips into a disorienting, Surrealist dreamscape in which still life appears to float in water, suggested by the blue waves, as much as it exists on a flat table.

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