Figures au bord de la mer I (Figures by the Sea I)

Pablo Picasso (Pablo Ruiz Picasso)

Malaga, Spain, 1881 - Mougins, France, 1973
  • Date: 
    1932 (January 2nd, Paris)
  • Technique: 
    Oil and black chalk on canvas
  • Dimensions: 
    130 x 97 cm
  • Category: 
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In 1929 Pablo Picasso planned some huge monuments with the idea of having them erected on Mediterranean beaches. His project was to construct living spaces that were at the same time enormous sculptures of female heads. Certain compositions from this time are actually transpositions of these imagined monuments to canvas, in some of which he actually added scale human figures in a trompe l’oeil technique to simulate the size.
The painting Figures au bord de la mer I (Figures by the Sea I) shows Picasso’s desire to construct sculptures on a colossal scale made reality, as two huge heads kiss, perched atop an undersized structure on the Mediterranean shore. According to his notebooks, the artist had developed this same idea four years earlier with a sculpture called Cabeza (Head), actually dated October 1928. The theme of Figures au bord de la mer I, therefore, common to Picasso’s pictorial and sculptural output, receiving in both cases a definitively sculptural treatment.

Paloma Esteban Leal