From first to last, Pablo Picasso's prime subject was the human figure, and he produced portraits in every medium he practised : painting, sculpture, drawing, printmaking and photography. In portraying people in his intimate circle, rather than working commission, he felt free to take an expressive and experimental approach, matching the style to the person. Picassso's work is remarkable for its variety and invention, and his portraits are thoroughly representatve of these essential qualities.
Picasso's creative process as a portraitist is the focus of this beautifully ilustrated book. Topics addressed in depth include the shifting relationship between observation from life, memory and fantasy- typical differences between his portraits of men and women- his ongoing dialogue with the long tradition of portraiture and identification with great portrait painters of the past- his many sources of inspiration and the motivation behind his sometimes extreme tranformation of his subject's appearance. Picasso's genius for caricature emerged in his youth, and throughout Picassos Portraits special attention is paid to the impact this had on his conception of, and approach to, the art of portraiture.
A co-publication between the National Portrait Gallery , London, and the Museu Picasso, Barcelona, Picasso Portraits provides detailed discussion of a fascinating mix of well-known and little-known works, and a revealing introduction to one of the richest seams of the artist's oeuvre.