Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901) and Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) never met. By the time of the youthful Picasso’s first visit to Paris in October 1900 Lautrec was already very ill and would die prematurely the following year. Despite this Lautrec’s radical work, with its interest in combining high and low culture and art and advertising that resulted in a particular way of understanding modern life, had a powerful impact on the young Picasso. Through the French artist Picasso discovered the multi-faceted nature of modern society which would influence his own understanding of art and lead on to a new creative vision.
Although these affinities are well-known, the exhibition Picasso / Lautrec represents the first comparative study of these two great masters of modern art. Through 100 works organised around the themes that interested both artists – caricatural portraits; night life at cafés, cabarets and theaters; the crude reality of marginal individuals; the spectacle of the circus; and the erotic universe of the city’s brothels – the exhibition will enable visitors to appreciate the young Picasso’s appropriation of specific elements from Lautrec’s art, as well as the affinities that exist between their respective oeuvres and the persistence of those resonances
in Picasso’s later output, the latter aspect representing the principal contribution of this project.
Curators: Francisco Calvo Serraller y Paloma Alarcó