‘The Painter and the Model’

Guest piece

Pablo Picasso, The Painter and the Model, 1963. Oil on canvas, 130 x 162 cm. Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid © Sucesión Pablo Picasso, VEGAP, Madrid, 2023

The Museo Picasso Málaga has invited Pablo Picasso’s oil painting The Painter and the Model (1963) from the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía to contribute temporarily to the narrative of Dialogues with Picasso. Collection 2020–2023. In this painting the artist addresses what had been one of his chief concerns: the process of artistic creation. Picasso devoted the last years of his life to exploring this theme through the figures of the painter and his model in the studio.

The exhibition Picasso. Peintures, 1962–1963 opened at the Galerie Louise Leiris in January 1964. It brought together a total of 126 works by the artist, 44 of which were on the subject of the painter and his model, all executed between 1959 and 1963.

The art historian Christopher Green analyses this subject as an anachronism in itself, as Picasso does not paint himself as an eighty-year-old man in his Notre-Dame-de-Vie studio but as the type of ‘official’ artist against which he had been rebelling throughout his entire life. Green goes on to state: ‘However, the ridicule to which he subjects his artiste-peintre masks a subtext that is easy to read in the series as a whole: Picasso’s close identification, after more than half a century, with the mission and purpose of the artist as he had been introduced to him in the 1890s and in the first long decade of the twentieth century’.

This work can be viewed in room XI of the Museo Picasso Málaga together with other significant works that belonged to Pablo Picasso’s last creative period, such as Boy with a Spade (1971) and Musketeer with Sword(1972).