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This must-visit exhibition in Madrid compares art by giants Picasso and Lautrec. See pics

An exhibition in Madrid is comparing works by two masters of 19th- and 20th-century art: Pablo Picasso and Toulouse Lautrec.

art and culture Updated: Oct 17, 2017 16:03 IST
AFP
Picasso,Lautrec,Madrid
Jane Avril by Lautrec and Bust of a Smiling Woman by Picasso.(AFP)

The Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza in Madrid, Spain, is hosting an exhibition (October 17 to January 21, 2018) comparing two masters of 19th- and 20th-century art: Pablo Picasso and Toulouse Lautrec. As well as examining the cliché of the young Picasso as an admirer of Lautrec in Barcelona and his early years in Paris, the show explores the influence of the cabaret painter’s work throughout the Spanish artist’s career. Here’s a look at what to expect from five sections of the show:

Bohemians

Lautrec became aware of his talent for caricature early in his career, effectively capturing the personality of the people he painted. He painted many caricature self-portraits, as well as portraits of people he knew, such as Jane Avril. Picasso also used caricature in his work. In fact, two paintings — Jane Avril by Lautrec and Bust of a Smiling Woman by Picasso — display the same characteristic style and pointillist technique.

When it comes to erotic themes, Lautrec, influenced by Degas, painted more symbolic and delicate connotations, whereas Picasso took a more violent approach. (AFP)

Underworld

The two painters’ work offered a window onto a world often overlooked by art, such as Parisian cafés and the cabarets of Montmartre. Lautrec painted posters for shows and portraits of their stars, such as La Goulue and Jane Avril, on many occasions. This fascination with Parisian nightlife is also seen in the work of Picasso, with works such as The Diners.

Prostitution is another subject common to both artists, expressed in many works by both Lautrec and Picasso. (AFP)

Wanderers

The world of the circus also played a key role in the careers of both artists. Lautrec was particularly interested in equestrian acts, while Picasso had a more melancholic approach, portraying harlequins as the outcasts of Parisian nightlife.

Brothel life

Prostitution is another subject common to both artists, expressed in many works by both Lautrec and Picasso. Lautrec portrayed prostitutes attending to their toilette, getting dressed or playing cards, whereas the Spanish painter took a more erotic, sometimes pornographic, approach. At the turn of the 20th century, Picasso went to Saint-Lazare hospital to sketch women with syphilis, leading to works such as Woman with Bangs.

The two painters’ work offered a window onto a world often overlooked by art, such as Parisian cafés and the cabarets of Montmartre. (AFP)

Hidden eros

When it comes to erotic themes, Lautrec, influenced by Degas, painted more symbolic and delicate connotations, whereas Picasso took a more violent approach.

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First Published: Oct 17, 2017 15:58 IST