Somerset house

Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life. Pablo Picasso

On Sunday I went to Somerset House and The Courtauld Gallery to see the ‘Becoming Picasso’ Exhibition, a display of works by Picasso from throughout 1901, the year in which he found his own unique style and began his famous Blue Period. I particularly enjoyed ‘Yo Picasso’ and the portrait of Bibi la Puree. All the work on display had merit and it was certainly interesting to see the development of his work up close and personal, especially given that I have studied some of his later Primitivist influenced work quite closely. There was a lot of energy on display, even in the more depressing pieces.

Yo Picasso (1901), Pablo Picasso

While I was there I also took the opportunity to see the Van Gogh on display: ‘Self Portrait with a Bandaged Ear’ and ‘Peach Trees in Blossom’. The contrast in mood between the two pieces couldn’t be more distinct. I couldn’t look at his self portrait for very long, the feeling of melancholy was palpable. The landscape was wonderful in feeling, as if he had captured how happy he was that day. Both were surprisingly intense. It never ceases to amaze me how much of an experience seeing a piece in the flesh can be compared to seeing a copy. Much appreciated inspiration!

When I have a terrible need of – shall I say the word – religion. Then I go out and paint the stars. – Vincent Van Gogh


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